Why children’s hearing is important

We start to develop language from the moment we are born. So, the earlier hearing loss is detected and treated, the better. The combination of your support with the best hearing aids, tools and techniques create a better future for your child.

The importance of sound

Language is learned through exposure to sounds. Children pick up words they hear in their environment. But language development is not the only thing that depends on your child’s ability to hear. Their listening skills also influence their ability to learn to both read and write, and they greatly influence their social skills as well.

To develop spoken language, children must be able to hear speech clearly and also to hear themselves. If your child suffers from hearing loss, their basic language development will often be delayed. As your child grows, they face a range of challenges during different stages of their lives, from infancy through the school years and beyond. Their hearing loss will impact their life differently in the transition from being in the security of your home to being on their own in challenging environments such as school, sports and other leisure activities.

Not only power, but empowerment

Although hearing loss happens in the ears, the real effect is in the brain. It is the auditory centres of the brain that make sense of sound, so the brain structures must be stimulated to develop. The ears receive sounds and send signals to the brain, where they are processed to give meaning. 

Oticon’s hearing aids with unique BrainHearing™ technology focus on giving your child’s brain the clearest signal possible to gain the most from their hearing.

Hearing aids with BrainHearing™ technology – support your child’s language development:

The brain develops as your child grows

Many parents believe that hearing aids will restore their child’s hearing. Unfortunately, they cannot. But they can help improve your child’s quality of life and they are critical to learning. With today’s technology, children can be fitted with hearing aids within the first few crucial weeks or months after birth.

We learn throughout our lives. From the moment we are born, we learn by observing and imitating our parents, family and friends. Later on, as we attend school, get a job and lead active lives, we continue the learning process. Children with hearing loss can live lives that are just as full and productive as other children. They just need additional support when learning

The first step to using hearing aids
In order to develop full, rich, verbal language, children must be able to tune into the speech sounds around them. It is critical to be able to hear as much as possible during all waking hours. Just as you rely on light in order to move around confidently and fully understand and enjoy all of the activities going on around you, in the same way your child relies on their hearing aids to help them get the most from their surroundings to support their language development.

Helps development of essential brain structures
Even children with minimal hearing can benefit from hearing aids, because the amplified sound produces stimulation and supports growth of the auditory centres of the brain. These brain structures are best developed and become most interconnected when a child is very young. This is important for a child’s vocabulary: Often a child’s vocabulary quadruples between his first and second birthday. Which is why it is important to get hearing aids as early as possible.

Clear communication

Children with hearing loss must be close to the speaker in order to detect and comfortably hear what is being said. You can support your child in everyday situations and help them better understand and develop speech by keeping a few basic rules in mind.

When we communicate we use more than just spoken language. We use our hands, body language and facial expressions. A lot of effort is required for your child to keep up with hearing people, so make sure to be very clear in your communication and keep the 3 basic rules below in mind. You can also share the communication tips with your child. And with their teacher’s help your child can also use them for self-advocacy at school.

  • Keep your face in view

    If your face is well lit, your child can easily see your facial expressions and read your lips. So avoid resting your face on your hand or sitting behind a newspaper while talking.

  • Speak clearly

    Speak clearly and at your normal pace, and remember that there is no need to shout. If your child has difficulty understanding you, try rephrasing the sentence rather than just repeating yourself.

  • avoid-background-noise

    Avoid background noise

    When talking, try to avoid background noise. Turn off the television and close any open windows. Move closer to your child to make your voice louder, or try to find somewhere quieter to talk.

Other communication techniques

For some it is relevant to consult a language therapist or learn other communication techniques. These techniques include lip-reading, clear and cued speech and sign language. Read more about them in our Support section.

  • Infant to toddler (0-3 years)

    If your child suffers from hearing loss, their ability to develop speech depends on the correct care from the very beginning.

  • Pre-schooler (3-6 years)

    Developing social skills in a noisy day care environment or in the playground can be challenging with hearing loss.

  • Schoolchild (6-12 years)

    A classroom is a challenging listening environment. Learn about solutions and how to support your child.

  • Teen to adult (12+)

    Solutions for teenagers and young adults and how you as parent can support like a good mentor.