Martha Burns – Can ear infections or glue ear impact early learning development?


It was difficult to show a few years ago
the effect of glue ear and ear infections on language learning
because some children seem to learn fine
even though they had a history of two or three ear infections or glue ear but some recent research that’s been
done is starting to show a much closer relationship between ear infections and language
development and essentially what they’re starting to see is that some children
seemto be more prone to auditory processing disorders and if they have glue ear or if they have
ear infections that can exacerbate the effect of the the auditory processing problem but another issue is that we’re also starting to understand
Patricia Kuhl and other other neuroscientists who’ve been
studying language development or showing how important the amount of language is
to a young child and if a child has glue ear or
if a child has an ear infection they have slight hearing loss it’s called a conductive hearing loss it’s
about thirty percent hearing loss and that hearing loss interferes with
the amount of sounds they’re hearing and the amount of sounds is what the
brain is using looking at statistics, looking at how
many sounds how many times does this sound occur
in this child’s life and if suddenly that sound doesn’t occur
very often because a child can’t hear it then that child isn’t going to learn the
sounds of the language as easily and if they don’t learn the sounds of the
language as easily that affects language development it is also going to affect
reading devlopment it’s also going to affect later ability to discriminate sounds in noise
so learning in school is difficult so it has all sorts of effects that
are more subtle but were starting to actually be able to quantify those

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