Children develop at different rates with some acquiring skills later than their peers. They may need additional time and support to develop skills such as crawling, jumping, climbing on playground equipment, colouring with a crayon, drawing simple shapes, tolerating messy play, following directions, attending circle time or socializing with peers.
Children with a partial or total hearing loss may be more vulnerable to experiencing associated sensory and motor difficulties. It has been proposed that approximately one third of people with a hearing impairment have associated vestibular dysfunction which can lead to problems with sensory processing and motor development (Nandi and Luxon, 2008).
The inner ear and vestibular system affects the sense of balance and gravity which play a major part in the processing of the other senses. The cochlear also plays an important role in sensory integration. If hearing impairment affects sensory integration it can lead to problems with attention control, motor development and the skills required for learning.
Occupational Therapy (OT) can assist you and your child, as an Occupational Therapist can identify the areas that may be impacting on their success. OT can help to build the foundation skills that are critical for play, learning and independence in life skills.
An OT will work closely with you to develop goals for your child and will guide your through strategies that you will be able to use in everyday situations to enhance your child’s participation and success in life skills.
The Hear and Say Brisbane Centre has a purpose-built Learning Activity Centre and Home Base (kitchen) which are utilised in therapy sessions.
Reference: Nandi, R and Luxon, LM (2008) Development and Assessment of the Vestibular System. International Journal Of Audiology 47: 566-577.