Hearing loss, the extremely common, yet invisible birth defect*.
When we talk about children with a hearing impairment raised in a hearing and speaking environment, the negative impact of leaving it untreated is very well documented. Because speech and language development have critical windows in early life, hearing loss can significantly impact this development. This is true even when it is mild or only in one ear! Even common (though not at birth) and seemingly benign things like ear infections can cause mild (or greater) conductive hearing loss and impact development.
We know from years of identifying children with hearing loss after there are signs of speech and language delays that delayed intervention can be extremely costly. Turns out it is much cheaper for the government to identify and intervene with children with hearing loss as early as possible, rather than wait.Read on!