Effects of Hearing Loss on Development

by | May 3, 2022 | News

From the time they are born, children begin to learn. Touch, smell, sight, taste and sound all contribute to how a child develops. For children with hearing loss, learning can be difficult; this in turn can cause developmental problems.

When Do Babies Begin to Hear?

Babies start to hear sounds while they’re still in the womb. Newborns react to loud noises and recognize voices by three months of age. By the time they’re six months old, they try to find the source of sounds and attempt to mimic them. If your baby doesn’t do these things, consider this to be early warning signs that your child may have hearing problems.

Babies with hearing loss are at a disadvantage because hearing sounds and trying to repeat them play an integral part in how they develop their vocabulary, comprehension and communication skills. They learn to associate words with people or objects; for instance, “mama” means their mother.

How Does Speech Development Affect Children?

If you’ll think about it, speaking and hearing spoken words is one of the primary ways you relate to the world around you. Children with hearing loss can’t hear words clearly, so they can’t accurately repeat those words to communicate. Not only do they have trouble hearing others speaking, but they often can’t hear themselves speak.

Children who can’t communicate well due to hearing loss often face difficulties:

  • Learning problems
  • Potential poor performance in school
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social isolation


Everyone’s vocabulary grows with each new word that they learn. Children with hearing difficulties can’t add to their vocabularies quickly, and they may mispronounce many words. As they get older, they’ll fall farther and farther behind their peers who can hear. This can cause withdrawal, frustration and behavioral issues.

Making Sentences

Because of their reduced vocabularies, these children aren’t able to understand or make complex sentences. Not hearing certain types of sounds can have a profound effect on word usage in spoken or written sentences.

School Performance

Children with hearing loss may not understand a teacher’s instruction. Concepts that other children who can hear learn easily may be incomprehensible. Even children with high intelligence can’t necessarily perform well in school if they can’t hear, and poor grades can limit their possible career choices later in life.

Does Early Intervention Make a Difference?

Absolutely. Younger children can usually absorb more knowledge quickly than older children. For instance, if a baby is exposed to two languages from infancy, they can master those languages with little difficulty. According to First Things First, 90% of a child’s brain growth happens before the age of five.

Many types of treatment and therapy can assist children with hearing loss, and the best time to implement these things is as soon as you notice potential hearing difficulties. If your child has a high fever, you’ll go to your pediatrician for assessment and treatment with little thought. Don’t ignore early warning signs of hearing loss in your child.

Work With the HEAR Center

The licensed Audiometrists at HEAR Center assess children and present parents with options to help their child learn to live with hearing loss. Off-site screenings and free webinars are available to help parents determine if their children have difficulty hearing.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment:

Call or text: (626) 734-6555

Email us at: appointments@hearcenter.org 

Chat us: https://direct.lc.chat/13342371/

Also, for more information about our Audiological Evaluations (hearing test) please visit our webpage: https://www.hearcenter.org/services/audiology/