In the United States, more children are born with hearing loss than any other congenital health issue. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association various studies estimate that between 1-6 per 1,000 newborns are born with hearing loss. 90% of the children are born to hearing parents who have no experience raising a child with hearing loss.
Without programs like Sound Start, children with mild to moderate hearing loss, on average, achieve one to four grade levels lower than their peers with normal hearing. Children with severe to profound hearing loss usually achieve skills no higher than the third-or-fourth-grade level. – The American Speech-Hearing Association
When babies with hearing loss get the appropriate intervention from birth to age three, they can acquire age communication skills by the time they are five. – Robinshaw, 1995 and Moeller, 1996; Yoshinaga-Itano, 1999
One hour of early intervention therapy with the child and family learning together translates into 84 hours of education and therapy time when family member follow the model at home with their child on a daily basis. – Lee Ann Jung, PhD
Early identification and intervention for children with hearing loss can save schools approximately $420,000 per child in special education services, and has a lifetime savings to the community of approximately $1 million per individual. – Johnson JL, Mauk GW, Takekawa KM, Simon PR, Sia CCJ, Blackwell PM
A Silent Disability
It is well recognized that hearing is critical to speech and language development, communication and hearing. Children with listening difficulties due to hearing loss or auditory processing problems continue to be under-identified and under-served.
How Hearing Loss Affects Children
- Hearing loss causes delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills.
- The language deficit causing learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
- Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept. It may have an impact on vocational choices.
Why Early Intervention, Amplification and Intervention is Critical
- Vocabulary develops more slowly in children who have hearing loss.
- Children with hearing loss have difficulty with all areas of academic achievement, especially reading and mathematical concepts.
- Children with mild to moderate hearing losses, on average, achieve one to four grade levels lower than their peers with normal hearing, unless appropriate management occurs.
- Children with severe to profound hearing loss usually achieve skills no higher than the third- or fourth-grade level, unless appropriate educational intervention occurs early.
- The gap in academic achievement between children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss usually widens as they progress through school.
- The level of achievement is related to parental involvement and the quantity, quality, and timing of the support services children receive.
- Children with hearing losses often report feeling isolated, without friends, and unhappy in school, particularly when their socialization with other children with hearing loss is limited.