Hearing Impaired Children

Hearing loss or deafness can occur in children of all ages, including babies. When a child is hearing impaired, the discovery is a life-altering one that can prove difficult not only for the child, but for parents as well. Often parents of deaf children are concerned about the quality of life that their children will have. Having a hearing impairment, however, doesn't have to be devastating. Fortunately, deaf education, hearing aids and implants, and other services that are geared towards the deaf community, can prove helpful. With the right start, a child can adjust to his or her hearing impairment and deaf culture. In order to help their children do this, parents should first have an understanding about childhood hearing loss.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Deafness can occur at any age. A child that is deaf may have parents with no auditory impairment or they may be the child of deaf people. When a child has some loss of hearing, it may occur in one ear or in both. Hearing loss can be caused by one of several factors. Fifty percent of the time, the cause is a genetic one. It may be associated with another health problem, such as blindness or Down's Syndrome. It may also occur in children who have deaf people in the family other than their parents. Approximately 25 percent of the time, deafness in children is not caused by genetics. The loss of hearing in these cases may be due to an infection, head injury or some form of complication following birth.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

When parents have concerns that their child is deaf, they will typically look for symptoms or some form of sign of a hearing problem. These symptoms can vary depending on whether it is an infant or an older child. For older children that are able to speak, a parent may notice that responses from the child are delayed or words do not come out clearly. He or she may turn the volume to the television or radio up extremely loud in efforts to hear it. Infants that are suspected of hearing loss may fail to respond to loud noises or they may be slow to form first words

Hearing Impaired and Deaf Education

Education is another important area when it comes to hearing-impaired children. Learning to read and write is often difficult for children just starting school, particularly if they have not had any early exposure to language due to their lack of hearing. Deaf education can teach children sign language in addition to other forms of communication and general study. Courses may be instructed by other deaf people or by people who do not have a hearing impairment. Children with hearing impairments may also learn about their condition by associating with people from the deaf community. Through these people they will come to learn about deaf culture and the issues and facts that are associated with the deaf community and deaf culture.