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Speech Banana

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Updated May 19, 2010

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Definition:

Can you or your child hear sounds within the speech banana? A speech banana is a banana-shaped range on an audiogram that covers the frequencies and decibels that are needed to understand speech. Contained within the speech banana are letters and letter combinations for these sounds.

All the letters of the alphabet except q, w, x, and y are within the speech banana. Also within the speech banana are the letter combinations th, ch, sh, and ng. Those letter combinations can be difficult for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to hear and understand.

One use of the speech banana is for young children: even if your child has limited expressive spoken language, the audiogram will show what sounds within the speech banana your child can hear when using a hearing aid or cochlear implant. This helps you get a pretty good idea of how much spoken language your child can understand.

Pictures of the speech banana are easy to find on the Internet. Some sites where you can see pictures of the speech banana:

  • FirstYears.org - The speech banana pictured here includes a crying baby in the banana. There is also a colorful vertical line showing degrees of hearing loss.
  • Flicker Photo - Someone posted their audiogram on Flickr, complete with the markings showing where they were hearing sounds within the speech banana.
Related Video
Understanding Infant Speech Development
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