Hearing loss in children can occur due to severalreasons. Around 50% of prenatal hearing loss are caused by genetic reasons, itcan be passed down the family in recessive genes, hence there might not be anyfamily history of deafness. Syndromic hearing loss includes 2/3 of all genetichearing losses, they include Waardenburg Syndrome, Usher Syndrome. (1) Prematurebirth can increase the risk of becoming deaf as premature babies are more proneto infections like meningitis, measles and mumps, which can cause severehearing loss in infants. (2) In UK,there are 50,000 children with hearing loss, 50% of them are born with hearingloss and the other 50% loss their hearing during childhood.
1 in 1000 childrenis born with severe or profound hearing loss. (Fellinger, Holzinger, Pollard,2012) Severe hearing loss is where they have difficult hearing loud speech butspeech can be heard when amplified with hearing aid. Profound hearing loss iswhere they have difficulty hearing and understanding, even when the sound isamplified. 90% of children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents. Out of the 50,000 children with hearing lossin UK, one of them is L, a 12 year-old patient in CAMHS in SpringfieldUniversity Hospital. L always had difficulty in regulating his emotions, hisanxiety and emotional dysregulation has worsened since last year. L wasadmitted into CAMHS this year for his anxiety disorder and recent aggressivebehaviors towards parents. L’s mother is able to sign at level 2 of BSL andfather is now learning level 1 BSL.
However, L thinks that it is not sufficientfor them to communicate adequately and have been having difficulties conversingwith his parents. The prevalence ofmental health problems in deaf children is around 40%, which is 15% more thanthat of their hearing counterparts, this includes anxiety, depression, etc. (4)Children with hearing loss are 1.5 to 2 times more vulnerable to mental healthproblems and their rate of emotional and behavioral problems are about twotimes higher than they are for hearing children.
(Peter A. Hindley, 2005) Thisis due to various reasons that will be further elaborated in this essay. This essay focuses on deaf children and theirfamilies, peers.
It concentrates on how delay in development of language canaffect communication and expression of deaf children. It then goes on todescribe how family member’s attitude affect children’s development of emotion.Finally, it will touch on the link between theory of mind and themisunderstanding of emotions in deaf children. The theory of Mind describeschildren’s early understanding of how behaviors combines thoughts, intentionsand belief. It is fundamental to skilled communication and social interactionsbetween people. (6) It allows children to understand other people’s perspectiveof thinking and their thoughts are not necessarily wrong. However, this doesnot develop in deaf children at a young age and will lead to misunderstandingbetween two parties.