Children with constant middle ear infections walk around like they are under water. Put your fingers in your ears-come on, really, just do it. Noone is looking. Thanks. So,that is what a child with a mild hearing loss or constant ear infections hears-it is muffled and inconsistent. Your brain can't map or remember how things sound right if one day your brain hears a /cup/ but the next day your brain hears /cut/. Your child has more hearing than a child who was profoundly deaf,but the idea is the same-the child does not have a constant , clean path of hearing so your child does not have a clear path to accessing language.
When your child is in therapy or school, be sure to explain this concept to the special ed provider or speech pathologist. If your child is making constant progress, that is great. If your child has a hearing age of 1 and says one word-great! That is what a hearing one year old does. It is hard to accept or grasp at first,but it will make sense as you allow yourself to accept it. Your child can catch up with hearing and outputing of spoken language with intensive therapy.
Here is a great article that explains the above.
Be sure you don't get frustrated-celebrate your child's accomplishments. Most importantly, remember that while children with hearing loss can have multiple disabilities, it is vital that a child communicates well before s/he is able to learn cognitively. Keep on trying and you will find success for your child!