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What Do Children Hear? How Auditory Maturation Affects Speech Perception

Werner, L. (2007, March 27). The ASHA Leader.
Auditory development is a prolonged process, despite the precocious development of the inner ear. Audiologists know that infants don’t respond to sound at the low intensities to which adults will respond. What hearing scientists have learned in 25 years of studying the development of hearing in infants and children is that youngsters’ immature thresholds in the sound booth reflect immature hearing, not just immature responses. These immaturities limit infants’ ability not only to detect a tone, but also to hear and to learn from sound in real environments. Moreover, the process of auditory development continues well into the school years, as children become more selective and more flexible in the way that they process sound.
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