Deafness in a child: why early identification and intervention is of importance?
Hearing plays a vital role in everyone's life. Without speech and hearing, it is tough to communicate. Hearing impairment affects the development of speech and language and also hampers the child's social, educational and personality development.
The development of language and speech takes place during the age of up to 3 years among the children and hence this is regarded as a critical period for the development of language and speech. The earlier the hearing loss is identified and appropriate intervention begun, we can help a child by addressing the hearing loss so that development of language and speech can happen.
It is the brain's ability to reorganize itself by establishing new neural relations, which comes into play in attaining language development and this is called neural plasticity. Auditory system which is responsible for development of hearing does not develop without stimulation. Deafness damages the development of the auditory system and early auditory stimulation allows the development of the system.
Thus, early identification helps children with hearing loss to development the language and speech levels.
Importance of early diagnosis of auditory system
The best time to treat a deaf child is before 3.5 years of age because during this time the central pathways show highest plasticity.