As parents, we would like our children to develop healthily without disabilities. Newborns undergo a universal hearing screening to check for signs of hearing loss. These tests detect 80 to 90 percent of hearing loss and allow early intervention.
While these tests can help diagnose and treat early signs of hearing loss, your newborn may pass this screening and still develop hearing loss as they grow. Hearing loss is genetic or progressive in these cases, only appearing later when the child is a toddler or older.
It is essential to take note of signs of hearing loss in children so they can be treated earlier.
In this article, we will run you through the hearing milestones of children according to their age so you can identify any signs of hearing loss in your child early on.
Hearing and Development of Infants and Toddlers
Parents need to spend time with their children daily and take note of their speech development.
If your child has delayed or no speech development, this may be a massive indication of hearing loss. You can check if your child has reached these speech development milestones and discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.
- At three months old, babies can recognize their parents’ voices, make cooing noises, and get startled by sudden loud noises.
- At six months old, babies can recognize speech sounds and familiar voices. They may turn their head towards interesting sounds and laugh. They may use their voice to indicate pleasure or discomfort at this age.
- At nine months old, babies understand their own name and simple words such as “mommy,” “daddy,” and “no.” They may make speech-like babbling sounds.
- At 12 months old, they may start speaking actual, recognizable words.
- At 18 months, a toddler can understand simple phrases and point to body parts on command even without gestures. They may have a spoken vocabulary of 20 to 50 words and short phrases. At this age, they are constantly learning new words every week.
- At 24 months, a toddler has a spoken vocabulary of 200 to 300 words and can speak simple sentences.
Indications of Hearing Loss in Older Children
Hearing loss can appear months or years after birth. It can be challenging to detect hearing loss in older children with developed speech skills as they may have unconsciously developed coping mechanisms to compensate for their hearing loss. There are still signs you can look out for, such as:
- Needing the TV volume to be louder than other members of the family
- Asking “what?” or “huh?” more often than they used to
- Preferring to listen with one ear or their “good ear”
- Falling grades and difficulty in hearing and responding in the classroom
- Your child may seem like they are not paying attention
- Speaking more loudly than they previously did
- Looking at people more intently when they speak
It is essential to detect signs of hearing loss in children to get intervention as soon as possible. At times, early hearing loss can be treated, or they can receive help managing their hearing loss.
You can contact your pediatrician to refer you to an audiologist. They can give hearing tests to your child to diagnose the problem.
Are you looking for a free hearing test in Lexington, MA? We at Hear More Associates are trusted hearing care specialists. Get in touch with us, and get your free hearing test today!