Aural Rehabilitation for the Treatment of Speech Disorders in Children

Aural Rehabilitation for the treatment of speech disorders in children is a combination of services that help children and their families cope with a child’s hearing loss and its effects on the child’s development. Timely and effective aural rehabilitation is especially important for children with hearing loss because hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on the child’s speech and language development.

Although an aural rehabilitation plan will vary depending on a child’s independent needs, generally, it will focus on one or more of the components below.

  • Speech and Language Development: One goal of aural rehabilitation is to help children develop skills needed for verbal communication. For example, a child may improve his or her speech by practicing sounds and words and learning to control the volume and rate of his or her speech. Language development could focus on the child’s grammar, vocabulary, and narrative skills.
  • Perceptive Skills: Hearing impaired children also need help identifying auditory and visual communication components. For example, a child could receive help in recognizing and understanding sounds and words. Hearing impaired children also benefit from learning non-verbal communicative clues, like the significance of facial expressions and body language.
  • Managing Communication: This aspect of aural rehabilitation involves deciding what assistive skills and devices are best for the individual child. This would potentially involve fitting a child with a hearing aid, teaching the child American Sign Language, or employing the use of an alternate type of assistive listening device. For older children, this could also involve seeking a peer support network with other hearing impaired children, learning how to self advocate, and teaching a child to care for, adjust, and manage his/her hearing aids. Often, children who receive prompt and appropriate aural rehabilitation are able to communicate on a level on par with their non-hearing impaired peers.

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