A hearing impairment is a hearing loss that prevents a person from fully receiving sounds through the ear. If the loss is mild, the person may have difficulty hearing faint or distant speech, or speech in background noise may prove to be a big problem. Hearing impairment is measured and diagnosed by an audiologist and doctor. Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Many young children experience temporary hearing losses due to infection or middle ear fluid. Hearing loss severity is classified as mild, moderate, severe or profound.
Permanent or sensori-neural losses have greater implications for children developing speech and language and for adults trying to cope with hearing loss in their daily life. Hearing impairments are classified according to their severity and as to whether one or both ears are affected. Sensori-neural losses can be assisted by use of hearing aids or in cases of people with severe and profound hearing loss, they may be a candidate for the ground breaking Australian technology, the Cochlear Implant.
Is your child’s speech unclear and has he/she had a background of ear infections, URTI or fluid in the ears and accompanying mild hearing loss? If so, there is a high probability that their speech sound development and even language skills is affected. Hearing losses, even mild and temporary losses, will affect the quality of what they hear and hence the way they learn to articulate. It is likely that the hearing has affected the child’s ability to produce clear speech sounds. However, an assessment of articulation will help determine if your child’s intelligibility is affected by the hearing problem, and/or if other issues are at play.
Children with sensori-neural losses will benefit from use of hearing aid/s. There are many wonderful programs that engage children in early speech and language development programs when diagnosed with a hearing loss. If you do not have access to one of these programs, you may wish to access support from a private Speech Pathologist who has skills with working with hearing impairment.
If you are a teen or adult with hearing loss, you may have difficulties hearing on the phone or in background noise. If you have your pronunciation, voice and resonance difficulties related to your hearing loss, the impact on your spoken communication depends very much on the length of time and severity of your hearing loss. Speech sound errors and voice quality features for people with hearing impairment follow a fairly typical pattern. If you are finding that others’ have difficulty understanding you, you may benefit from therapy with a skilled Speech Pathologist, who can assess your speech and voice and design a program to help you improve your speech intelligibility.
Well Spoken offers Speech Pathology skills in the management of: Voice, Fluency, Articulation, Hearing Impairment, Early Language Delays ….and more
Well Spoken offers Orofacial Myofunctional expertise: re-programming muscles of the face mouth and throat, correction of oral habits, swallowing, chewing, breathing & speaking, tongue tie….and more.
Sharon Moore Speech Pathologist has 30 years of clinical experience as a Speech Pathologist in Australia and overseas