Hearing Tests Are A Part Of Your Child's Speech Therapy
When a parent learns that their son or daughter might need speech therapy, they are sometimes confused about the hearing screenings that often accompany the diagnosis. While it's easy to overlook, there is a very close connection between what a person hears and how they speak.
Letter and Word Sounds
When parents first teach their children to read, they go about the process by first teaching the child how to sound out letters and then by showing the child how to sound out letter combinations. Remember, the crucial part of this process involves the child's ability to hear the sounds their parent is making.
When a child is displaying delays in these areas, hearing testing is vital because it can help determine if the reason for their challenges has to do with their inability to hear the sounds around them. Children with sound distortion concerns might also hear these sounds differently, and in turn, regurgitate these sounds incorrectly.
If a child has a hearing concern, the issue must be addressed in order for their speech therapy efforts to be effective. After all, a child can only reproduce sounds based on what they hear.
Word Structure & Vocabulary
A common misconception many people have is an idea that speech concerns only surface in the form of an inability to speak clearly, such as a child not being able to recreate or produce certain sounds. However, a child can talk seemingly fine and still need the assistance of therapy, as word structure and vocabulary are also important.
In terms of hearing concerns, a child that might not be able to hear clearly might not understand how to pair words together and how to create properly structured sentences, which can affect their ability to communicate. When speech therapists recognize hurdles in these areas, they often like to test for hearing concerns to ensure the child's inability to perform in these areas is not based on their inability to hear the words spoken around them.
Remember, hearing words help you learn what they mean and how to use them, so in a child with hearing concerns, their ability to use their words correctly in the speech will be altered.
A large part of the speech therapy process is to determine why your child might be experiencing these challenges, and a hearing test can help pinpoint the therapist in the correct direction. If you have any questions about your child's treatment, don't hesitate to ask the therapist.