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Children Recognize Speech Before They Can Talk

Children Recognize Speech Before They Can Talk

We see many young children, between the age of 1 and 3 years old, for hearing testing at Advanced Audiology. While it may seem young, this is the age range when parents and pediatricians start to notice speech and language delays in children. And with any speech and language concerns in children, the first thing clinicians recommend is a hearing test.

Audiologist, Jocelyn Dore of Advanced Specialty Care, illustrates how and why hearing loss can impact a child’s speech and language development if left untreated and why early intervention is so important.

Perception Precedes Production
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists use the phrase “perception precedes production.”  What this means is, people hear and perceive speech and language long before they produce it or speak words. A perfect example of this can be observed in children who can follow commands such as “go get your shoes” long before they can say the word “shoes.”
Babies have shown to be able to recognize the speech patterns of their native language just after being born, which suggests that babies are aware of their mothers’ voice even before birth. We perceive speech and language before we produce it.
When a Child’s Perception of Speech is Impaired
The window of language learning is critically short; Between birth and age three an enormous amount of growth in the brain occurs. If a child is born with or acquires a hearing loss at a young age, their awareness of the sounds around them is impaired and this impacts their speech and language production. Because of this, if a child has untreated hearing loss in this time frame, it can permanently impact the child’s speech and language for the rest of their lives.   
There can be other causes of speech delays in children, so it’s important to determine if hearing loss is the root cause before starting any speech/language therapy. Time is of the essence and early intervention for children with hearing loss, or suspected hearing loss, is crucial.
Thankfully, there are a variety of testing options available, some of which have been designed specifically for young children and even newborns. At Advanced Specialty, our Audiologists are trained and experienced in evaluating and treating young children with hearing loss and other auditory issues. If you think your child may benefit from a hearing evaluation, please contact us at (203) 830-4700 or click here to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Connecticut office locations in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield.

You May Also Be Interested In:

Blog: How Do You Conduct a Hearing Test for Babies?

Blog: Auditory Processing Disorder: The Coordination of Hearing and the Brain

Blog: Kids’ Hearing Tests are Fun!

Advanced Specialty Care is a multi-specialty private practice caring for patients in Fairfield County, CT for over 30 years. We are committed to the well-being of our patients. We have expertise in Ear, Nose and Throat Disease, Head and Neck Surgery, Allergy & Asthma Care, Audiology, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, and Dermatology and Skin Care. At each of our six Connecticut facilities, we offer only the latest state-of-the-art technologies and techniques – all in a welcoming and caring environment.

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Multi-Specialty Private Practice with six locations in Fairfield County, CT