Aim: The risk for language disorder is high in children with all levels of hearing loss (HL). Early identification and intervention should be as important for children with mild HL as for those with more severe HL. Despite new-born hearing screening, a recent survey of speech language therapist services in southern Sweden indicates that children with mild and moderate HL are severely neglected when it comes to language assessment and language intervention. In this study we explore associations between Best Ear Hearing Level (BEHL), time factors and language skills in Swedish children with HL with hearing aids (HA). Method: Participants were 19 children with mild HL (BEHL 23–39) and 22 children with moderate HL (BEHL 40–70) aged 5–15 years. Information on age at diagnosis and at HA fitting were collected. The children performed a nonword repetition and a sentence comprehension task. Results: The time elapsed between diagnosis and fitting with HA was longer for the children with mild HL.Participants with mild HL received their HA significantly later than children with moderate HL. No association between BEHL and the two language measures was found, and language skills were not better in children with mild than moderate HL. 17% of participants performed below cut-off for language disorder on both language measures. Conclusion: Given the risk for long-term academic and social consequences of even mild HL delayed HA intervention for children with HLleads to serious concerns by families, clinicians, and pedagogues.
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