Children with hearing loss often struggle with communication, poor mental health, background awareness and even emotional understanding. While a large amount of communication is nonverbal, children with hearing loss often miss out on verbal and emotional cues such as tone or emotionally charged words.
Hearing aids can help children fill in the missing verbal information needed to understand emotional cues completely. Let’s take a look at why hearing loss may affect emotional understanding, as well as how hearing aids can help.
How Can Hearing Loss Affect Emotional Understanding?
A study on the encoding and interpreting of emotional cues in 60 children with hearing loss versus 71 children without found that children with hearing loss tend to rely heavily on visually observable information to gather understanding about emotions. Rather than attempting to interpret ambiguous emotional cues, the children with hearing loss favored explicit cues.
While the study found this adaptive strategy effective in recognizing emotions, they noted that it “may lead to misinterpretation of emotions in social situations.”
The study further suggests that in order to ensure the full development of emotional understanding in children with hearing loss, they should be given extra support. Hearing aids are a great way to compensate for the gap in emotional understanding.
How Can Hearing Aids Help Grow Emotion Knowledge?
Hearing aids can help amplify speech sounds and provide more information on tone and emotionally charged words, leaving children with more complete social-emotional knowledge.
Though many children initially struggle with adapting to new hearing aids, consistent use can help children in many ways, including:
- Improving their ability to understand verbal cues.
- Making them more aware of their surroundings.
- Reducing missed emotional cues.
- Breaking up the communication barriers between a child and their peers.
Providing children with hearing loss the extra support they require to understand emotions will help them develop strong social lives. With the help of hearing aids, they can enjoy games of tag at Ramsey Neighborhood Park, unencumbered by communication barriers.
Improved social lives are beneficial in more ways than one. Research suggests that positive peer relationships among children have been associated with better future behavioral, emotional and academic outcomes.
To discuss hearing loss treatment with a trusted audiologist, contact Austin Auditory Specialists today.