What way is it educationally different to have a hearing impaired child?
It is very important for you parents to know about the efforts of hearing loss on the development of your child. Biologically hearing loss merely means inability to listen. But inability to listen is not as simple or straight forward as inability to see. Listening is essentially linked with speaking (we learn to speak what we keep hearing). The primary and the worst adverse effect of hearing loss therefore is considered to be on communication skills in general and on language in particular. Hearing impaired children, especially those who have profound hearing loss in both the ears since birth – find it difficult to acquire language as automatically, effortlessly and swiftly as any other non impaired child. Because the non impaired child has acquired language early in life, it can enter the school and can readily face formal education. It is this language which is not adequately developed in a hearing impaired child that creates multiple problems in its life. It is the lack of language skills that turns hearing loss into hearing handicap.
Inadequate language has its adverse effect on all aspects of human development. This may include intellectual, educational, social, personal, emotional and vocational development. In India where network of services is poor and awareness among society is less, hearing impairment may also affect family life, interpersonal relationships, recreational avenues etc. From educational point of view, all this is very important since all these areas of human functioning are closely linked with education. As a parent you must try to prevent hearing loss turning into hearing handicap. Always remember.
- Hearing loss affects language development adversely.
- Inadequate language skills turn hearing loss into hearing handicap by adversely affecting various aspects of human functioning.
- Parents professional and community together can help lessen the impact of hearing loss. It is quite difficult but NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
- Ensuring age appropriate language development is the key to all problems.