Communication Disorders are More Common in Kids than you Think

Communication Disorders are More Common in Kids than you Think

In Communication, Family & Relationships, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Pediatric Hearing Loss, Research by Bary E. Williams Au.D.

A lot of parents can still remember their children’s first steps. It’s a considerable achievement that represents the start of their independence in the world. While fewer parents may recall their child’s first words, they signal a significant shift in a child’s ability to communicate with others.

Long before he says his first word, your child begins to communicate with you. It’s essential to realize that no two children are the same. At various ages, children reach milestones. If you suspect that your child’s speech and language abilities are not developing correctly, speak with your child’s healthcare professional.

Developmental milestones for children

Although not every kid develops speech and language at the same rate, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has compiled a list of age-appropriate speech and language milestones for babies and early children:

Birth to 5 months
  • Coos
  • Vocalizes pleasure and displeasure sounds differently (laughs, giggles, cries, or fusses)
  • Makes noise when talked to
6 to 11 months
  • Understands “no-no”
  • Babbles (says “ba-ba-ba”)
  • Says “ma-ma” or “da-da” without meaning
12 to 17 months
  • Answers simple questions nonverbally
  • Says 2 to 3 words to label a person or object (pronunciation may not be precise)
  • Tries to imitate simple words
18 to 23 months
  • Starting to combine words, such as “more milk.”
  • Begins to use pronouns, such as “mine.”
  • Uses 2-word phrases
2 to 3 years
  • Speech is becoming more accurate but may still leave off ending sounds. Strangers may not be able to understand much of what is said.
  • Answers simple questions
  • Begins to use more pronouns, such as “you” or “I.”
3 to 4 years
  • Groups objects, such as foods or clothes
  • Identifies colors
  • Uses most speech sounds but may distort more complex sounds, such as l, r, s, sh, ch, y, v, z, th. These sounds may not be fully mastered until age 7 or 8.
4 to 5 years
  • Understands spatial concepts, such as “behind” or “next to”
  • Understands complex questions
  • Speech is understandable but mistakes pronouncing long, complicated, or complex words, such as “hippopotamus.”
Five years
  • Understands time sequences (for example, what happened first, second, or third)
  • Carries out a series of 3 directions
  • Understands rhyming

Hearing loss has an impact on a child’s language development

Early childhood is a crucial stage of development when tremendous growth occurs, and hearing plays a vital role in this process. Speech and language development may be hampered if your child’s hearing abilities are impaired, as they may find it challenging to learn through listening to and communicating with others.

Emotional, social, and intellectual development may be hampered by weak language and verbal skills, and your child may suffer socially and intellectually as a result. Even children with modest hearing loss or hearing loss in only one ear face difficulties in development. They perform significantly lower than their hearing classmates and are frequently playing catch up academically. 

It is critical to intervene early

Early intervention is critical in allowing your kid to grow and learn alongside their peers. 

Congenital hearing loss occurs when a baby is born with a hearing loss. Various factors can cause hearing loss, but pinpointing the exact cause is not always possible. The root of nearly half of all instances of congenital hearing loss is genetic—that is, inherited from a parent.

Ear infections are another common cause of hearing loss in children. Your youngster will be agitated and more prone to pull or scratch at their ears. Even if your child isn’t in pain, there are a few tell-tale indicators of fluid in the ear that you may look for if you suspect your child has an ear infection. It is critical to treat ear infections as soon as possible. If you suspect an ear infection or fluid build-up, see your physician at once. 

Hearing loss can be treated so that your child grows up without developmental delays, allowing them to be happy and healthy, achieve their objectives, and live productive and fulfilling lives. Because these are crucial years for your child’s development, we encourage routine screenings throughout infancy and childhood.

Bary E. Williams Au.D.