New born infants are able to respond to the sound by startling and blinking of eyes. As they grow they recognize their parents' voices and enjoy their own cooing and gurgling sounds. Listening leads to language development. Latter the children learn to attach meanings to sound.
Children born with hearing impairment are unable to learn for they have not heard the sound to which they can attach meanings. This result in communication barrier.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
A Deaf child is one who has lost the sense of hearing before learning the language. This means that the child is born without the ability to hear. Such children are often mute and silent.
Hard of hearing on the other hand is a defect that is acquired later in life. The child experiences varying degrees of hearing loss.
Characteristics of a Deaf Child
1. The child may be dumb besides being deaf.
2. The speech defects are common among children with hearing impairment.
3. They have difficulty in learning language/vocabulary. It is an enormous challenge to learn to communicate in a language one cannot hear.
4. Consequently these children are low in intelligence because they are incapable of using available opportunities.
5. Such children have suspicious minds because of lack of coordination between vision and hearing. This also results in their inability to make friends.
6. A deaf child is often indifferent and stubborn.
7. Sensitivity to hearing impairment among children leads to frustrations and inferiority complex.
8. The resultant poor communication causes tremendous socializing problems.