Hearing and child speech therapy

With the onset of flu season, we thought we would share a little bit about ear infections, and how they can impact a child’s speech and language development.

Did you know ear infections can lead to hearing loss and higher risk of speech and language difficulties? Our Brisbane north child speech therapy services can help determine if your child has been affected by hearing loss and implement strategies to promote development.

Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), also known as Glue Ear or a middle ear infection, is a common health problem for many young Australian children, with two-thirds of children experiencing at least one occurrence of Otitis Media before the age of three.

Ongoing episodes of middle ear infections are likely to place your child at a high risk of developing conductive hearing loss, an intermittent and fluctuating type of hearing loss which can affect speech and language development.

Conductive hearing loss, caused by middle ear infections, has been likened to trying to listen while underwater! Conductive hearing loss is generally medically treatable and reversible. However by the time it has been treated, often through the insertion of grommets, the child may have already experienced several weeks or months of conductive hearing loss – placing the child at risk of speech and language delay.

“It has long been thought that even mild fluctuating hearing losses, such as in OME, during the critical language-learning period (early childhood), can have a negative effect on [speech and] language learning.” – Paul, R. (2007).

If you are concerned your child’s hearing may have impacted their language development, contact us to speak to a child speech therapist today.