Dubai, UAE, November 21, 2015 – Children need adult support, especially when it comes to education, healthcare and welfare. This is particularly true for hearing-impaired children who can benefit from hearing implant technologies. To raise awareness about the needs and rights of children, the United Nations (UN) celebrates Universal Children’s Day on November 20. Every year this special day is accompanied by numerous events around the world. Since its introduction in 1954, this date has encouraged action to benefit and promote the welfare of children worldwide, as well as promoting mutual exchange and understanding among children.
MED-EL supports these goals every day, having worked for over 25 years to give children with hearing disorders the gift of hearing through cochlear implants (CIs) as early as possible. One of the company’s primary goals for the coming years is to help all children to be able to hear before the age of 5.
ExploreKids – A magazine for adults and children
“ExploreKids” delves into topics surrounding child growth, with a particular focus on how hearing is key to successful development and progress from early years into adulthood. From its years of assisting children around the world to hear, MED-EL has broad experience in both bringing the gift of sound to children’s ears and helping them to speak for themselves.
When children receive a cochlear implant at a very young age (before speech development), they can learn to hear and speak in a natural way. The later a child is implanted, the more intensive the rehabilitation process will be to reach their full communication potential. If children cannot hear properly, it makes it more difficult for them to interact with their environment, which can limit future opportunities, from friendship to education and career.
The company’s extensive research into worldwide speech pathology and learning to hear has led to the development of different approaches to certain language groups. An article in ExploreKids looks at how hearing-impaired children with CIs learning tonal languages (e.g. Vietnamese, Chinese) will use different strategies to develop their communication skills. Furthermore, MED-EL gives five tips to help children progress, including encouraging imaginative play, enunciating each word so that the child learns proper pronunciation and limiting technology in order to focus on more interactive activities.
Hearing loss in adults
But hearing loss doesn’t only concern and affect children. More and more adults seek out solutions to partial or complete hearing loss, often due to environmental factors. Particularly underestimated are the consequences of working in noisy conditions as well as exposure to loud noises occasionally or over a long period of time. The sooner hearing loss is discovered, the more effectively it can be treated. It is important that anybody noticing any hearing deterioration seeks the advice of a doctor immediately. Gradual hearing loss should never be underestimated. ENT specialists use professional methods to quickly check the function of a person’s hearing abilities and can offer tips and tricks on how best to deal with noise.