For many children, there may be a long time period between hearing tests. The first hearing test is administered to newborns before they go home from the hospital. The second test is a hearing screening that is routinely done when the child enters kindergarten.
Hearing loss that is genetic or progressive may not begin until your child is a toddler or even older. Many of the signs of hearing loss are subtle and the child’s parents are often the first to notice there may be a hearing problem.
Early diagnosis of hearing loss will give your child the best chance for successful speech and language development and reduce the possibility of learning deficits.
Below are four signs of hearing loss you can look for in your child:
- The most important sign of hearing loss in your child is delayed or absent speech.
- Your child consistently requests for the volume to be increased on the television or radio. He/she seems to have trouble hearing you when you are speaking in a “normal” voice volume.
- Your child begins to speak more loudly than usual.
- Your child intently watching you while you are speaking – trying to “read” what you are saying more than hear it. Your child may, on the other hand, appear to be daydreaming or withdrawing from social interactions because it is too difficult for him/her to hear the conversations.
There are numerous causes of hearing loss in children but the important message is to always trust your instinct when it comes to your child’s hearing. If you feel they are showing signs of not hearing well, schedule an appointment with an audiologist to have their hearing tested.
The earlier a hearing loss is identified and treated, the better it will be for your child.