Is Getting Hearing Aids Enough?
Children are considered the future of any country. They are supposed to carry the baton from the earlier generation and drive the country towards newer arenas of success. Governments all around the world pay special heed to childhood healthcare programs and global organizations like the UNO have goals centered around the survival and hearty growth of children. Without a healthy upcoming generation, an economy would be left with an unproductive workforce, hampering growth and development in every industry.
Toning the scale down a bit, we can see that children are just as important to a family as they are to the future of a nation. The proper development of a child, especially in the early childhood, determines how successful he will be in the future. A child’s academic success in school, physical strength and ability to ward off diseases can be worked on during his childhood. More importantly, however, his early nurturing also plays a major role in the development of his personality and social skills.
Hearing & Development
A healthy and robust sense of hearing plays a major part in the growth and development of every child. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, children with mild to severe hearing loss as a group have poorer language development than their hearing peers. Since language is linked to social skills and friendships, having hampered speech development can lead to a child being socially isolated and under-confident. He may also have trouble making friends and building a sense of belonging. Tragically, without a strong hold on speech and language, the child will suffer during academic lessons because he will have trouble understanding what is being taught and communicating his point of view.
The research also showed that even though some parents and healthcare professionals managed to detect early childhood hearing loss and provided treatment to the children, the treatment was not optimal. For example, in almost 50% of the cases in which children are provided hearing aids, the devices are either not personalized for their lifestyle needs or are not fitted well onto the child’s ears. Because of this, the child’s hearing loss was not appropriately treated, leading to incomplete language development and cognitive growth.
What More to Do
The core responsibility of protecting and nurturing a child’s hearing lies in the hands of parents and healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals can help the cause by conducting hearing screenings in newborns. This can help children receive the right treatment before they go through some very important life stages in language development. Healthcare workers can offer parents more knowledge on helping their children receive the appropriate hearing loss treatment. They can also make sure that kids have properly fit hearing aids or offer more therapeutic support.
Finally, parents have an integral role to play in protecting the hearing of their children. Apart from nurturing an environment at home where noise levels are controlled, parents with hearing impaired children should also go for regular check-ups to ensure that their child’s treatment is successful.