Hearing Impairment

The ability to hear is critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning. Partial or complete hearing loss can delay development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language), which can result in other learning problems and affect a child’s self-esteem and choices in life.

Hearing loss specifically affects vocabulary (especially more abstract words and words with multiple meanings), sentence structure, speech, learning (especially reading and math), academic achievement, and friendships. But the earlier in life a child is found to have a hearing loss and gets help, the less serious the impact.

Prenatal hearing losses are losses that are present at birth. There can be a variety of causes.  Acquired hearing losses are losses that appear after birth and might be related to various diseases or injuries to the head.

How can I help my child with a hearing loss?

Recent studies have shown that children who begin services for a hearing loss early may be able to develop language (spoken and/or signed) on par with their hearing peers. We recommend early family-centered intervention to promote language (speech and/or signed, depending on family choices) and cognitive development.

Here at CTS, our speech-language pathologists will screen and assess your child’s communication abilities, and we will devise a plan to target your child’s communication abilities. Our therapists may try a variety of means to help you decide the best course of treatment for your child. Some of our therapists sign, and if that is the communication system your child uses best then we’ll be sure to make that connection. All the therapists will use a variety of cueing systems to help process auditory information as we look for the way your child learns best.

If your child is under three, he may be eligible to receive services through the Illinois Early Intervention (EI) System. Our therapists work with EI to provide services at home for children who are enrolled.