What is your hearing age? Is it the same age as your ears or you or your hearing loss? We " in the field' consider your "hearing age" as how many years post cochlear implant activation or consistent hearing aid use. If you did not get a cochlear implant until 18 months and were profoundly deaf before then, you did not hear until 18 months old. If you are 24 months old, then you have a hearing age of 6 months-you have only heard language for 6 months. Your parent might expect you to hear and talk like a 2 year old-it is important to realize that you are experiencing language both expressively and receptively as a 6 month old-probably cooing or babbling at best.
Children with constant middle ear infections walk around like they are under water. Put your fingers in your ears-come on, really, just do it. Noone is looking. Thanks. So,that is what a child with a mild hearing loss or constant ear infections hears-it is muffled and inconsistent. Your brain can't map or remember how things sound right if one day your brain hears a /cup/ but the next day your brain hears /cut/. Your child has more hearing than a child who was profoundly deaf,but the idea is the same-the child does not have a constant , clean path of hearing so your child does not have a clear path to accessing language.
When your child is in therapy or school, be sure to explain this concept to the special ed provider or speech pathologist. If your child is making constant progress, that is great. If your child has a hearing age of 1 and says one word-great! That is what a hearing one year old does. It is hard to accept or grasp at first,but it will make sense as you allow yourself to accept it. Your child can catch up with hearing and outputing of spoken language with intensive therapy.
Here is a great article that explains the above.
Be sure you don't get frustrated-celebrate your child's accomplishments. Most importantly, remember that while children with hearing loss can have multiple disabilities, it is vital that a child communicates well before s/he is able to learn cognitively. Keep on trying and you will find success for your child!
Check this link out!
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.