Your child might have been perfectly healthy at birth, but some children can develop hearing loss as they grow. Back in the day, hearing loss might not have been detected till the child had reached speaking age – around two years old – when parents would realize then that the child was not able to speak properly. Now, this issue can be detected even in newborns, thanks to new technology.
Several scenarios can play out as to why this can happen to some children. It could be congenital, which can happen from birth complications or premature birth. It could also be acquired, such as exposure to a very loud noise. However, in most cases, it is a genetic factor whether it began at birth or later on.
Sometimes parents can’t tell if their young one is able to hear or not. Monitoring your child’s behavior from the start will help you realize if something is wrong. Depending on the severity and cause of hearing loss, your child might need a hearing device. According to the people at ListeningStack.com, you can schedule free hearing evaluations and consultations. This is important to do before you are able to decide which kind is best suited to your little one, and you’ll find that the right hearing aids can make a world of difference for your child’s social, educational and communication development.
Based on age, here is what to notice in your child. Be aware that children can have temporary hearing loss or hearing loss in one ear due to an infection, so a doctor needs to check your baby before you jump to any conclusions.
Birth to four months: During this period, a baby will get startled at loud sounds and might wake up or stir while sleeping. Also, an infant will begin to recognize familiar voices. The baby might coo or smile in response. The infant may also calm down if crying when he/she hears a familiar voice. Babies can begin to use a hearing device as young as one month, if needed.
Four months to nine months: At this stage, your baby should be able to smile when spoken to. Sounds will cause a reaction in him/her, and should also be able to turn his/her head towards something that is making that sound.
Nine to fifteen months: At this point, your baby should be able to respond in one form or another to their name being called. They will use their own voice to get your attention and repeat some simple words.
Fifteen months to two years: Songs will interest them and you should notice if they’re able to follow. They can have a small vocabulary of different words, so they can point to an object that you name if you’ve taught them the name of that object, or body parts, for example.
While, it’s normal to call out your child’s name several times before they answer, if they do it often, it may be more of a problem than just ignoring you. If the child needs the TV volume turned on louder than other family members, and regularly doesn’t understand you or says what?! A lot, these signs can be an indication of hearing problems. Also, monitor how loud your child speaks. Speaking louder than his/her usual volume might be an alarming sign.
Early identification and intervention
The earlier your child is treated for hearing loss, the better the outcome of professional intervention. This is key to helping a child optimize their speech and language outcomes. You might not be aware just how much using a proper, and fitting hearing aid is beneficial to your child’s present and future. Some children with hearing loss feel isolated from other kids their age. But early treatment and hearing aids can reduce this feeling along with the love and care of family and friends.