Sound Choices for Kids & Teens

Sound Choices is an educational program designed to teach children about hearing conservation.



According to the National Center of Disease Statistics, 5.2 million children between the ages of 6-19 years have hearing loss directly related to noise exposure.

CHSC is proud to announce that our Sound Choices program – video, student and teacher materials and interactive games are now available to the public on our website at

Sound Choices is an educational program designed to teach children about hearing conservation.  Although the definition of “noise” may be interpreted on a personal basis, it can be described simply as unwanted sound. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be instantaneous and caused by just one single exposure to a very loud sound (like a firecracker or gunshot) or it can be caused by cumulative exposure to loud sounds. Even though hearing loss due to loud sound may not be evident in the childhood years, NIHL may present later, in teenagers or early adulthood.

Just as we teach our children about other health and safety issues (wearing bike helmets, using sunscreen, eating healthy food), we should also address hearing wellness. Unlike other health issues, NIHL is generally invisible – there are no overt visible warning signs like blood, bruises, or pain.  Young children learn to listen. As they grow, they listen to learn. Good hearing is critical to the development of spoken speech and language and thus, learning.

Although permanent, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is 100% preventable.

Tips for Kids to Protect Their Hearing

Turn it down!

If you are wearing earbuds/headphones and someone can hear your music from arms reach away (about 3 feet), it is too loud.

Use noise-cancelling earphones

These will allow you to set the listening level at a lower volume if you are in a noisy place and still hear what you want to hear.

Limit listening time

The louder the sound, the less time it takes to damage your hearing. The next steps will help you limit exposure to loud sounds.

Move away

Move away from the source of the loud sound. It’s one of the easiest things to do! Also, do not use noisy equipment in small enclosed spaces.

Use earplugs

Earplugs are inexpensive and easy to find at most drugstores, sporting goods stores, and hardware stores. Keep them at home, in your backpack, or in the car so you have them when you need them.

Cover your ears

Use your hands or use one finger to push the little flap in front of your ear backwards to seal off the ear canal.

Block the sound

Close the door, close the window!

How Loud is Too Loud?


160 dB Jet Airplane

150 dB Helicoptor

140 dB Rock Concert

130 dB Ambulance Siren

120 dB School Dance

110 dB Power Saw

100 dB Cement Mixer

90 dB Lawn Mower


80 dB City Traffic

70 dB Small Party

60 dB Normal Speaking Voice

50 dB Car Horn

40 dB Refrigerator Motor

30 dB Whisper

20 dB Rustling Leaves

10 dB Normal Breathing

0 dB Threshhold of Normal Hearing

Kids can learn more about how their ears work and how to protect their hearing by visiting the interactive website If you suspect your child may be experiencing hearing loss, contact Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center to schedule an evaluation at 216-231-8787.

What is a Speech Sound Disorder?

A speech sound (or articulation) disorder is when your child has difficulty making speech sounds. For example, if a child says “dup” when he is trying to say “cup”, this is a problem with speech sounds. Many children with speech disorders are also hard for others to understand.  Children begin building speech skills from birth, then develop sounds over time, and eventually, use all speech sounds correctly. Using the earlier example, it would be fine if a twelve-month-old child said “dup” for “cup”, but that would not be expected from a four-year-old child.  A child has a speech disorder when she is unable to make sounds that would be expected for her age. Both children and adults can have a speech disorder. It can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.



How is a speech disorder diagnosed?

Often, parents, family members, caretakers, teachers, or other people close to the child may be worried that a child is not learning correctly or talking the way they should for their age.  If you’re worried, it is a good idea to get your child tested. A licensed Speech-Language Pathologist can evaluate or test your child to determine if your child actually has a speech disorder.

How is it treated?

If your child is diagnosed with a speech disorder, individual and group treatment is offered for children of all ages.  Treatment for a speech disorder is always a team effort between caregivers, the clinician, and the child.  A clinician will see your child for a limited time each week, so by working with your child at home and completing home carryover activities, you will see your child progress much faster.

The length of treatment depends on various factors, such as the severity of your child’s disorder, how consistent therapy is attended, how well your child is able to participate in therapy activities, and parent involvement with therapy practice at home.  Clinicians will regularly discuss your child’s progress with you.

If you have concerns about your child’s speech or language development, contact Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) for more information or to make an appointment for evaluation. 216-231-8787 or visit

Why Communication Matters

Only through communication can human life hold meaning.– Paulo Freire

Kids talking in group -

Welcome to the blog for Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC). As the premier provider of hearing, speech-language and deaf programs, services and advocacy, CHSC will keep you updated as to the latest information, tips, resources, research and more related to all things communication-based. If you are wondering how important the gift of communication can be – consider these

Top 10 Reasons Why Communication Matters

Cleveland hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) is dedicated to our vision – a community where everyone communicates effectively. The choice as to the form communication takes is a personal one.  Hearing and speaking are the most common forms of communication. Some people may use American Sign Language (ASL) Still others may choose captioning or lip reading. Communication by definition is the transmitting of, or interchange of, thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs. But, without question, the loss of the ability to communicate can mean loss of quality of life.

Without the ability to communicate you…

  1. wouldn’t be able to get a job. All jobs – from ditch-digger to CEO – require the ability to convey information. Your effectiveness at work, including interpersonal skills, is rooted in your approach to communicating with people. Hearing what is being said by the client; conveying goals to your team; listening to your boss’ instructions; understanding your objectives – all require your ability to communicate effectively.
  2. wouldn’t be able to signal for help. You finally got to take that trip to Italy – only to find yourself lost in a strange town. How can you ask for help? Being unable to communicate a need can be scary, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.
  3. wouldn’t be able to learn. Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? Reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic all require the ability to understand the meaning of letters, words and numbers. Literacy is tied to communication, as is all learning.
  4. wouldn’t be able to manage a bank account. Keeping your checkbook balanced may seem like an ongoing challenge – but imagine if you had no understanding of the complexities of deposits, withdrawals, and other bank-related formulas. The same is true of other complex issues – legal documents, contracts, warranties.
  5. wouldn’t be able to express your ideas or feelings. As recent politics showed us – people have strong opinions and ideas about what they want for themselves, their families, their futures. Everyone wants to feel their opinion matters. But first, they need to able to communicate that opinion.
  6. wouldn’t be able to socialize. Statistics show that people with hearing loss, aphasia (loss of language), or other communication challenges, tend to withdraw more and more from social situations. This creates a downward spiral where they feel  lonely and depressed. Statistics show that socializing with friends, family and groups not only keeps the brain sharp but improves overall health and wellbeing.
  7. wouldn’t be able to explain a problem. When the car engine starts making that weird noise, or the faucet won’t stop dripping – it’s time to schedule maintenance. This requires the ability to find the appropriate source of help, communicate the issue and arrange for repair.
  8. wouldn’t be able to call or text a friend. It’s true that communication isn’t always verbal – and texting is a form of communicating. But if you were both deaf and blind and had not been given alternate methods of communicating – you might never experience the simple pleasure of a friendly chat.
  9. wouldn’t be able to live independently. As we’ve mentioned, without the ability to communicate and understand complex ideas such as banking, living independently would be nearly impossible. Add to that the inability to navigate a bus schedule or pay utility bills and you would feel completely dependent on others for your life’s needs.
  10. wouldn’t be able to say “I love you.” Although hugs and kisses convey as much heartfelt meaning as the words “I love you” – it is not always possible to express feelings in a physical way, and not every relationship is a physical one. Communication is the greatest gift we have and can give to each other.

Most of us take our ability to communicate effectively for granted. Unless or until something changes our ability, we pay very little attention to it. But knowing that services and programs exist to help those who need it – when they need it – is key to the mission of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. Whether it is the family whose infant did not pass its hearing test at the hospital, or the child who stutters, or the stroke survivor who needs speech therapy, or the Deaf individual who needs an American Sign Language interpreter, or the Baby Boomer who is beginning to notice a hearing loss – these and many others find the help they need at CHSC.

If you or someone you know has a communication issue, please contact us for further information. We are happy to help you get the answers you need. You will find us at or call 216-231-8787.