The Science of LSL

Today, the possibilities for children with hearing loss are beyond anything we previously imagined.

They can achieve milestones at the same level as children with typical hearing, thanks to newborn hearing screenings becoming the standard, amazing advances in hearing technology, and proven practices with Listening and Spoken Language (LSL). You'll be amazed by the unbelievable LSL outcomes for children with hearing loss whose parents take early action.

A Brand-New Era

Studies show that children who are born with severe to profound hearing loss can develop the same communication skills as children with typical hearing if they receive:

  1. Early diagnosis of hearing loss
  2. Appropriate hearing devices within the first several months of life — this includes having a hearing aid fitting within three months and possibly cochlear implants within six to nine months
  3. Early intervention sessions where the parent is coached on LSL techniques
  4. Meaningful interactions with lots of exposure to listening, talking, and the language of the home
  5. Encouragement from actively engaged family members

In the past few years, researchers worldwide have been studying children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They studied information like how old children were when they were identified with hearing loss and when they got their first hearing devices. Researchers then compared this information with the children's language skills. As a result, we know more about what parents and professionals can do to reach their child's LSL goals.

The number one finding? Act quickly. When hearing loss is a concern, every moment counts.

Read More About It

Find more details on the latest research with our white paper, Mission: Probable: Age-Appropriate Listening and Spoken Language Abilities for Children with Hearing Loss.

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Recent research has shown that excellent outcomes are not only possible for children with hearing loss but probable when we provide evidence-based, audition-centered hearing healthcare in a timely fashion.

Dr. Jace Wolfe, AuD

What We Know Today

Get It Done Before One

Sure, early is better but just how early? Studies show that children do better in LSL if they are fitted with hearing aids from three - six months old and receive cochlear implants, if needed, between six - nine months old.

Give Me Ten

We tell families that hearing devices should be worn all waking hours. Studies now give us an exact number. Children learn to listen and talk best when hearing devices are on and working for at least 10 hours daily. 

Stay Within Five

Hearing aids and cochlear implants need to be programmed for your child's specific hearing loss. Your child's pediatric audiologist will help fit the hearing devices so your child can have the best access to all sounds of speech. Your child’s devices should be set to hear the sounds of speech within five decibels of the target identified at testing. Ask your pediatric audiologist about your child’s probe microphone test settings. Click here to listen to Dr. Jace Wolfe and Dr. Teresa Caraway explain what we mean when we say "Take Five."

Clear the Noise

Your child will spend a lot of time in noisy places. These may include daycare, family gatherings, or classrooms. Studies show that when children are in noisy places, they need an additional device that allows them to hear sound with reduced background noise. This is called remote microphone technology. Ask your pediatric audiologist for information about this device and dealing with noisy environments

Talk About It

The number of words and the kind of words you use with your child matter. Studies show children need to hear as many as 40 million words by their fourth birthday to learn language best. It’s easier than it seems. Parents should use many different words to talk about their home, their actions in play, and when reading books aloud. This is called a "listening-rich language model" and it’s the best way to learn language.  

Equal Opportunity

Some children with hearing loss also have challenges with other skills. They may even have another diagnosis. New studies show that this shouldn’t keep children from getting the hearing devices they need or attending LSL early intervention. Hearing aids and/or cochlear implants can allow a child with different challenges to reach their full potential in LSL development.

Access for All

Recent studies show the need to provide all children with the best opportunities to improve LSL outcomes. All families deserve the same access to testing and resources no matter their circumstances. Families should be able to receive hearing tests, hearing device checks, and LSL early intervention services. Make sure your professional team members give you information in a way you understand and never hesitate to ask questions. 

Read More About It

Learn more about the science that makes LSL outcomes possible in our whitepaper, Entrain the Brain: Optimize Listening and Spoken Language Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss.

Learn More

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