I will be participating in a Twitter Party for Hear the World Foundation through the Motherhood. This is a compensated opportunity.
Being a physical therapist on top of being a mom, I know how vitally important hearing is to a child. Speech and language is such a crucial portion of childhood that I am honored to take part in a Twitter party this Tuesday (10/22) to help spread awareness about early dectection of hearing loss.
What: Did you know that every year, approximately 665,000 babies around the world are born with significant hearing loss? A child’s ability to hear and speak is vital for emotional and social development. It is crucial to detect and manage hearing loss as early as possible!
When: Tuesday, October 22nd at 12pm ET
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #HearTheWorld hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite: http://twtvite.
Prizes: Five $25 Amazon gift cards will be given away to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. (U.S. winners only.)
Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @Hear_The_World
Below are some important facts about childhood hearing loss:
- In early childhood, our sense of hearing plays a crucial role, providing the basis for speech and communication skills. If a hearing impairment is not diagnosed and treated at an early stage, this can have a negative impact on a child’s personal development as well as educational, social and professional opportunities throughout life. Given this, it’s critical that parents are able to recognize the signs of possible hearing loss early and take appropriate action quickly.
- For young children, every day is a journey of discovery; using their five senses, they are continuously gaining impressions and constantly learning new things. If one of their sensory organs is damaged, this can have an adverse effect on their development as a whole, as is demonstrated particularly by the loss of the ability to hear.
- Children with untreated hearing impairment don’t perceive auditory stimuli to a sufficient extent or fail to respond to them at all. This will severely delay their language acquisition and may even prevent them from ever learning to speak. Deficiencies at this stage of development are extremely difficult to overcome later on. Children affected by this often experience problems with interpersonal communication and feel socially isolated.
How can parents tell if their child might have hearing loss?
- If a child responds unusually slowly to acoustic stimuli or fails to react at all – when being spoken to from outside his or her field of vision, for example – or does not seem frightened by sudden loud noises such as a door slamming, this could be an early sign of hearing loss.
- If they notice that their child is learning to speak at a much slower rate than other children of the same age or stops uttering any sounds.
- Monotonous babbling or when a young child produces a more limited variety of sounds than his or her peer.
What can be done to help children with hearing loss?
If parents suspect that their child has a hearing impairment, they should consult a pediatrician, an Ear-Nose &Throat specialist or a pediatric audiologist immediately. Hearing loss can be treated in various ways depending on the type and severity of the impairment:
- In many cases, hearing aids designed especially for children with a diagnosed hearing loss offer significant benefit. The correct hearing aid must be chosen individually for each child and will depend on various factors such as the degree of hearing loss and the needs of the child. Hearing aids are fitted individually by a pediatric audiologist.
- Wireless radio systems, known as personal FM systems, can also be used to supplement hearing aids. The system includes a microphone worn by the child’s parent or teacher and a receiver fitted onto the child’s hearing aid. This system enables the child to clearly understand speech even over further distances or in situations with loud background noise.
If a hearing aid does not offer sufficient help, a cochlear implant (CI) may be an effective choice.
Generally speaking, children who are one year old and older with the auditory nerve intact may be candidates for this surgical implant device.
Useful tips for parents of children with hearing loss
- Parents should treat their children as normally as possible.
- Parents should speak as clearly as possible, maintain eye contact with their child when speaking, and teach their child to always look at the person talking to them. If the child does not understand everything they say, they should repeat what they said using different words.
- Even at a very young age, children should be encouraged to ask if there is anything they have not understood correctly.
- Parents should make sure that background noise is kept to a minimum when speaking to their child.
- If parents read picture books to young children, they should bring the pictures to life with sounds as well as reading the text provided (e.g., imitating animal noises). This will enable children to imitate sounds and learn from an early stage how to participate verbally n communal reading.
- You can find more information at: http://www.hear-the-world.com/
Please join us at the Twitter party!!
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