Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is That a Fact?

Hearing loss is the number one birth defect in America.  I have probably quoted this hundreds of times and always hated saying "birth defect".  I don't know why... it just sounds so harsh.  I guess it may be that I love my kiddos*** just as they are and really can't imagine them any other way. 

*** I have a habit of calling my patients "my kids" and the parents of children I work with "my parents" so it happens on occasion that I am telling a story about "one of my kids" or "one of my parents" and people think I am talking about my actual family. I should come up with some clever way to differentiate between the two, but until then you will either have to ask or use context clues.  As for now I don't have any children of my own so that one is easy.  I do refer to my actual mom and dad frequently when talking about hearing loss because they are deaf and have cochlear implants.  So that may get confusing, but hopefully you will be able to tell the difference. 

Every time I speak about facts on hearing loss I can tell people are shocked.  Sometimes I am as well.  Here's some more facts...just in case you were wondering.

- 1 in 1,000 newborns (that's 33 every day) is diagnosed with some type of hearing loss.
- When children are not identified and do not receive early intervention services, special education for a child with hearing loss cost an additional $420,000, and has an estimated lifetime cost of $1million per individual. 
- 90% of children with hearing loss are born to parents with normal hearing
- Research indicates that children with unilateral hearing loss (single sided) are 10 times as likely to be held back a grade compared to their peers with normal hearing.
- Research also indicates that children with mild hearing loss may miss 25-50% of speech in the classroom environment and may be labeled as having attention or behavior problems. 
- Approximately 25,000 people in the United States and 70,000 people world wide have cochlear implants.
- Nearly half of all cochlear implant recipients are children.

And those are (some of) the facts!

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