‘Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your child’ – these are probably reassuring words to a young mother worried about her baby’s apparent ‘different’ness but this is definitely not good advice. A mother always knows when something’s wrong and she should be encouraged to go with her instincts.
VAANI works with families to highlight the importance of early detection of, and intervention for, a deaf child. We spread awareness about the importance of language and communication for the emotional and social well-being of a deaf child.
Late diagnosis of deafness is proven to cause delay in language development. Children with hearing losses identified before 6 months of age have significantly better language development than children whose hearing losses are identified after 6 months of age. Children with normal cognitive development whose hearing losses are identified before six months can develop language at the same or a similar rate to a hearing child.
Deafness in itself is not a learning difficulty. Learning difficulties arise when deaf children cannot access communication. An undiagnosed 3-year-old deaf child will only know about 25 words as compared to 700 words for a hearing child of the same age. A majority of deaf children grow up in hearing families with little or no experience of deafness, and most parents never learn to fully communicate with their children.