Speech therapists and audiologists are two separate healthcare professionals with their own unique training and skillset.
Even though speech therapists and audiologists certainly fulfill different roles, they often work closely together to track your child’s progress and make adjustments to their therapy where necessary.
Typically, it’s speech therapists who focus on speech and language, and audiologists who focus on hearing. But, what both these professionals have in common is that they specialize in communication.
Speech, language, and hearing all go hand-in-hand, which is why speech therapists generally suggest a hearing assessment before starting with speech therapy.
Audiologists are healthcare professionals that conduct hearing tests and help children and adults manage their hearing loss. These professionals are trained to complete hearing evaluations in a variety of environments, as well as fit hearing devices for people of all ages.
A pediatric audiologist reduces the impact of your child’s hearing loss on their speech and language development.
In fact, your child’s hearing loss can affect a number of their skills and can even make it difficult for them to remember things. If this happens, then your child has to do more “mental work” when processing the information they are trying to hear in comparison to their peers who can hear.
I’m sure this is relatively self-explanatory, but in order for speech and language to develop, you first need to be able to hear the speech and language around you. This video sums it up pretty well:
What this means is that hearing loss can have a definite adverse effect on your child’s speech and language development, and the extent of this adversity is dependent on the different types and degrees of hearing loss that your child may have.
The human ear has three parts (the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear), and the type of hearing loss your child experiences will depend on which part of the ear is affected:
This is the most common type of hearing loss experienced by children, and is due to their tendency to experience recurrent ear infections.
Unfortunately, this type of hearing loss usually can’t be “fixed” and requires assistive therapy, such as the use of hearing aids.
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When an audiologist talks about the degree of hearing loss, they are referring to how severe the hearing loss is, and how much hearing difficulty your child has.
Mild hearing loss:
Moderate hearing loss:
Moderate to severe hearing loss:
Severe hearing loss:
Profound hearing loss:
Basically, the greater the degree of hearing loss, the more likely your child is to experience speech and language delays.
Additionally, hearing loss can affect your child’s social and emotional development, and even be a barrier to learning when they start their schooling
Speech therapists and audiologists continuously communicate when they work together to help your child. If a speech therapist feels your child might have a hearing loss, then they will refer you to an audiologist. Likewise, if your audiologist feels your child might have a speech and language delay, then they will refer you to a speech therapist.
The audiologist’s primary role is to help children and their families communicate by:
The speech therapist’s primary role is to help children and their families communicate by:
Ultimately, audiologists have a big impact on the children they treat. We all need language to “think,” and this thinking is a lot easier to do when you can develop your spoken language by hearing the speech of those around you.
It is up to speech therapists and audiologists to work together to ensure that children who have hearing loss reach their full potential.
Speech Blubs uses fun speech therapist-approved activities to activate your child’s speech and language and even has a free screening tool that can help pick up if your child may have a hearing loss.
The app makes use of video modeling, face filters, and speech recognition to help your child learn, and is especially helpful to children with hearing loss. This is because children with hearing loss tend to be visual learners, so being able to watch child “experts” in order to imitate the sounds and words they make is a key to unlocking their learning potential.
It’s not enough for children with hearing loss to watch people when they speak simply; they also require quiet, self-directed environments that promote their learning using fun and educational activities, the independence which Speech Blubs can provide!
We are positive that Speech Blubs will help your child speak better, sooner, and more confidently.
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