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|Speech and Language Therapy in South Salt Lake County Since 1998|
It has long been understood that hearing loss (including chronic ear infections) negatively impacts speech and language development. Recently I read an article in the January 2018 ASHA Leader magazine published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association titled “Children With Dyslexia or Repeated Ear Infections May Struggle With Phonology.” The article describes some recent research that was done at Coventry University in the United Kingdom which tested children on their basic reading and writing skills, including the structures of words (sounds and meanings) in both speech and literacy. They found that one third of the children with ear infections struggled with literacy activities, particularly specific sound activities. They also found that children with dyslexia struggled with literacy tasks involving the manipulation of speech sounds, and knowledge of grammatical word structure. Hearing deficits were found to be prevalent in both of these populations of children, which places them at risk for understanding sound structures of words as they are learning to read. Awareness and early intervention will help to prevent these negative effects.