Children’s ability to hear is interconnected with their ability to speak—a problem with hearing can lead to a speech delay or problems with speech.
At Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, our speech and hearing services team includes otolaryngologists—ear, nose, and throat doctors—as well as audiologists and speech–language pathologists. Our specialists keep your child’s speech development at the forefront of care while managing the following conditions:
chronic ear infection and fluid in the ear
hearing loss present at birth
sudden sensorineural hearing loss caused by damage to the nerve pathway of the inner ear that leads to the brain
Our experts also see children with structural abnormalities affecting speech. These include ankyloglossia, or tongue tie, in which excess tissue present between the tongue and lower part of the mouth affects speech; and a cleft palate, an opening in the roof of the mouth.
Our specialists develop a care plan based on the underlying cause of your child’s speech and hearing challenges.
If chronic ear infections are causing the hearing loss, our doctors may recommend antibiotics or surgery to clean out the infection, or place tubes in the ears.
When hearing loss has been present since birth, tests to assess hearing and to fit hearing aids are available at the Hearing and Balance Center. Children with sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from a cochlear implant, available through the Cochlear Implant Center.
Our otolaryngologists may perform a nasal endoscopy, in which a doctor inserts a lighted tube with a camera on the end through the nose. This is used to determine whether any structural abnormalities are contributing to speech problems. MRI scans may also be necessary to create detailed images of soft tissues.
Our providers may refer your child to our velopharyngeal insufficiency experts if we find structural problems in the soft palate and back of throat that cause nasal speech. Our surgeons are also available to repair a cleft palate.
We also work closely with specialists in Speech–Language Pathology Services for Children to assess hearing-related speech delays or speech problems associated with structural abnormalities. Personalized speech therapy may be part of your child’s care plan.