Newborn hearing screenings catch the majority of hearing loss in children. However, certain genetic conditions or progressive hearing loss might not show up in your child until later. Let’s examine some of the signs that may indicate your child is experiencing hearing loss so that you can get them the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Hearing Loss Signs in Infants and Toddlers
As any new parent knows, infants and toddlers seem to be reaching new milestones every day. Understanding hearing and speech development milestones in young children is essential to tracking your child’s progress.
While not a complete list, here are some general guidelines:
0 to 3 Months
- Startle at loud noises
- Begin cooing
- Recognize your voice
- Reacts when spoken to
- Recognizes speech sounds and familiar voices
- Turns their head toward interesting sounds
- Laughs and plays with their own voice
- Uses different voices to express different feelings like enjoyment or discomfort
- Starts to understand simple words like “Mommy,” “Daddy,” etc..…
- Says more and more words every month
- Can ask basic two-word questions
- Follows easy commands
- Is able to identify simple objects and parts of their body if prompted
- Is able to sit and listen when being read or sung to
As always, guidelines aren’t exact. Children develop at their own pace. Don’t panic if your child meets these milestones a little later. If you are concerned about anything, make an appointment for an evaluation.
Hearing Loss Signs in Older Children
It can be harder to identify hearing loss in older children as they may have developed some coping mechanisms to help mask their issues. Signs may include:
- Doesn’t follow simple instructions or directions like “Pick up your toy.”
- Is falling behind in speech and verbal skills in school
- Gets easily frustrated or confused when given instructions
- Can’t understand what you’re saying unless they are looking directly at you
- Seems especially exhausted after school and/or has trouble making friends or maintaining good grades.
Troubles in school are especially common for children with hearing loss. To make sure they get the most out of their time at Peter Kirk Elementary or another school, get their hearing tested if you suspect any problems.
A hearing test is a quick, painless way to determine the severity of your child’s hearing loss and help their audiologist determine what treatments, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, may be necessary.
If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.