Universal newborn testing catches the majority of hearing loss in children. However, some children don’t develop hearing loss until they are a bit older.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 14.9% of children ages 6-19 had some degree of hearing loss.
Let’s take a look at some of the signs your child might be struggling to hear.
Hearing Milestones in Infants and Toddlers
It’s important to remember that every child is different. Just because your infant or toddler is slower to meet one of these milestones does not automatically mean they have hearing loss. However, if you notice a pattern of missed or delayed milestones, or have picked up on other signs that trouble you, schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
In general, your child should be exhibiting the following behaviors during the corresponding age range:
- 0-3 months: During this age, babies will smile at you when you talk to them, startle at loud noises, and begin to recognize a parent or caregiver’s voice.
- 4-6 months: They will start to notice toys that make different sounds, notice music, and respond when you change the tone of your voice. Their babbling will become more speech-like and they will start to vocalize when they are upset or happy.
- 7 months to 1 year: They are able to turn to look in the direction of sounds and can listen when you speak to them. They also start to understand simple words like “cup.” They may even be able to start speaking a few words, like “mama.”
- 1-2 years: At this age, children understand basic questions and commands and can listen to simple stories or songs. They also begin to speak more and learn to put basic phrases together.
Identifying Hearing Loss in School-Aged Children
The signs of hearing loss, especially if it is mild or moderate, can be less obvious in older children. Indications that they may be struggling include:
- Trouble following simple instructions
- Are falling behind in speech and verbal skills at Austin Elementary School
- Can’t understand what you’re saying unless they are looking directly at you
- Lean toward you when you speak
- Talk about only being able to hear out of their “good ear”
- Seem spacy or like they are daydreaming
- Has a harder time socializing with other children
- Seem exhausted after school
The good news is that by taking your child to get a hearing test and having them treated with hearing aids or other listening devices can help close the gap between them and their peers.
If you have more questions about hearing loss in children or wish to schedule an appointment, call SoundLogic today.