Hearing loss in children causes considerable delay in speech development, as well as serious difficulties in the learning process. Whether by birth or appearing during the first years of life, it has a big difference compared to hearing loss acquired during adulthood.
Indicatively, children with moderate hearing loss will articulate their first word on average at the age of 21 months and subsequently develop a richer vocabulary at the age of 36 months, while children with normal hearing begin to speak at the age of 10 months and enrich their vocabulary at the age of 18 months. Unilateral or bilateral hearing loss causes children to have problems locating sounds, understanding speech – especially in a noisy environment – while their diction is inferior to that of children with normal hearing.
A key factor in preventing the severe effects of hearing loss on speech development is prevention and early diagnosis, which can be carried out even for cases of hereditary hearing loss due to the development of molecular biology and analysis of the human genome.