Your toddler learns a lot by imitation. To be able to talk, then, she must be able to hear.
Your toddler learns a lot by imitation. To be able to talk, then, she must be able to hear. It’s important to quickly detect any hearing difficulties to limit their negative effect on language acquisition.
However, this is a lot harder to notice than it might seem. Valérie, mother of two, tells us: “Laurie-Ève is our eldest. She was a bit of a loner and we thought it was simply her temperament. Finally, it was her educator who made the connection. She had noticed that our daughter didn’t answer to instructions that weren’t accompanied by hand movements, and that she never seemed to understand if she couldn’t see the face of the person talking.”
Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor or CLSC if you have any concerns about your child’s hearing.
For Cynthia, whose daughter Élise was born with a congenital malformation, there were other signs that cued her in: “She would speak very loudly. Today, she tells us herself when she can’t understand because there’s too much noise around her.”
Certain clues can point to a loss of hearing. For example: your child stops gurgling, pulls at her ears, has repeated colds and ear infections, doesn’t answer when you call her or often asks you to repeat.
Most experts agree: exposure to television among infants and toddlers negatively influences language development. They recommend not exposing a child to television or screens in general (computer, tablet) before the age of two.
Vocabulary is the most affected. “Television is a relatively passive activity,” confirms Dr. Cousineau. “There’s no interaction with the child. If used in a limited manner, it could help a child learn new words, but once again, the child needs to understand what she is watching. Nothing can replace human interaction.” Furthermore, while your child is watching television, she isn’t exploring the world around her, which is, in fact, essential to her language development.