The study looked at a relatively small group of 180 three to five year old children with mild-moderate and moderate-severe hearing loss - the study did not include children in in the severe-profound range. The researchers collected information on speech, language & articulation performance, hearing loss degree and hearing aid wear time. Two important facts were noted in their results:
- Children who received the most benefit from their hearing aids showed higher speech & language scores.
- And, duration of hearing aid wear improved outcomes -- especially in children who received the most benefit from their hearing aids.
Whether you're a parent or a teacher, the next time you hear (or think): 'He does fine without his hearing aids - why fight this battle?' remember this study! As a teacher who deals with this issue frequently, I often counter with my own question: How much better could he do if he could hear like you do?
Check out the Reuters article for more information or the original article from the JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.