Hearing Impairment in Children

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This essay will discuss how the hearing impaired children can be strongly influenced by the social environment to learn language. Firstly, the essay will define some key terms such as hearing impairment and social environment. Secondly, it will discuss how the social environment can strongly influence hearing impaired to learn language. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2006) defines hearing as the ability of being aware of sounds with one’s ears. It further defines impairment as the state of having a physical loss or abnormality of psychological structure of function. According to WHO (2010) deafness refers to the complete loss of hearing ability in one or two ears, while hearing impairment refers to both complete and partial loss of the ability to hear. Therefore, hearing impairment is a genetic term for all types of hearing loss regardless of where and when it was sustained. There are two types of hearing impairment, according to which part of the ear is affected. Conductive hearing impairment is a problem in the outer or middle ear. It is often medically or surgically treatable. A common example is chronic middle ear infection. Sensorineural hearing impairment is a problem with the inner ear, or, occasionally with the hearing nerve. It is usually permanent and requires rehabilitation such as the use of a hearing aid. Sensorineural hearing impairment is commonly due to excessive noise, ageing and infectious diseases such as meningitis, measles, rubella and mumps (WHO, 2010). Some of the causes of hearing impairment are hereditary, premature birth, rubella, syphilis, inappropriate use of ototoxic drugs, jaundice and infectious diseases such as meningitis, measles, mumps and chronic ear infections (WHO, 2010). According to WHO (2010) hearing impairment can impose a heavy social and economic burden on individuals, families, communities and countries. WHO (2010) notes that, hearing impairment in children may delay development of language and cognitive...
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