Speech and Audiologic Features among Children with Down Syndrome
Introduction: Down syndrome is genetic disease caused by trisomy of chromosome 21. Clinical characteristics include low and broad nasal root, brachycephalia, hypotonia, single palmar crease, smooth and fine hair, and short stature. Studies have shown that many children with Down syndrome may present hearing loss.
Objective: To check the occurrence of parent complaints about hearing of children with Down syndrome.
Methods: We performed a prospective study with 29 patients with Down syndrome diagnosed in a Clinical Genetics Service. It was applied a questionnaire to the responsible for the child about speech and audiology aspects.
Results: The major part of the interviews was performed with the mothers (72.4%). Twenty children (69%) already had language care and all children were referred for reasons of language delay. Only two children had performed audiological evaluation. Three parents (10.3%) reported hearing complaints. During the survey, many mothers did not report many hearing complaints; however, qualitatively some parents reported that they thought important to perform the audiological evaluation.
Conclusion: Our findings show that few mothers present complaints about hearing, although there are studies that show a high prevalence of hearing loss in children with Down syndrome. It is important that when a possible hearing loss is perceived, the child should be referred to audiological evaluation, even because many already have a language delay.
Keywords: Down syndrome, audiology aspects, hearing, language.