Whenever there is a concern about speech-language development, an audiological evaluation is STRONGLY recommended. This is because of the fact that detecting sound is different than the more complicated skill of "hearing." Often this is the basis for a wide misconception and under identification of children with hearing loss. More times than not, parents will say their child can hear just fine, and may not pursue a hearing evaluation. Hopefully, you are starting to understand why this is an error in judgement. Perhaps your child's hearing is fine. Great! But remember, detecting sound and turning towards a sound source is not the same as "hearing" and then understanding a statement such as, "Go get your shoes." If a child has difficulty hearing some speech sounds, they will begin to guess at what the message was. Not hearing the sounds correctly will also impact a child's ability to properly produce the sounds. It's best to rule this out before proceeding with therapy. If hearing loss is a complicating factor, no amount of therapy can cancel out the impact the hearing loss is having. The course of treatment for hearing loss is largely dependent upon the extent of the hearing loss. The treatment plan would be created by an audiologist. Hearing aides, preferential seating (being close to the speaker), and an FM system (teacher wears a microphone and child has the teacher's voice delivered right to them either via a hearing aide or a speaker nearby) are just a few of the many options available to reduce the impact caused by the hearing loss. Once the hearing deficit is addressed, then speech-language therapy will prove highly effective.
Click here for more information about audiograms: http://blog.everhear.com/2012/12/28/understanding-your-audiogram/