Hearing testing for newborns has increasingly helped doctors to identify early signs of auditory disorders with room for quicker intervention. The simple test has accurately diagnosed 90% of children who suffer from hearing loss, providing parents with the awareness needed to ensure the best possible outcomes of language development in the long term.
Delayed speech development: One of the strongest clues pointing to potential hearing loss is toddlers and young children who show delayed or absent speech development. A parent needs to be conscious of critical development milestones like this and monitor their little one’s performance if they want to identify the early stages of auditory decline.
Milestone Guidelines to Identify Hearing Loss in Children
- 3 to 6 months: By 3 months your baby should recognize and respond to your voice by quieting, this recognition should progress to speech sounds and familiar voices by six months. In addition, your baby should also start making cooing noises at this time, laughing, and making their displeasure or pleasure known through sounds. If you notice your baby does not react to loud noises or your voice, hearing loss could be one of the reasons for their lack of response, in which case you are recommended to take them to their pediatrician for further testing.
- 6 to 9 months: From holding a speech-like conversation with their caregiver to understanding simple words like their names and ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy,’ your baby should be playing with their voice by making different sounds and chattering more.
- 9 to 10 months: By now your baby’s babbling should incorporate strings of syllables that resemble words, even if they aren’t the real deal.
- 10 to 12 months: Your baby should be approaching their first word. Watch out for it, not just to cherish, but to see that your child is showcasing the normal signs of speech development.
Important Steps to Identify Hearing Loss in Children
Once your child has turned one and is has developed basic speech skills, it becomes more difficult to identify types of hearing disorders. Keep your eye on their responses to sounds, their preferred audio and video volumes, and their attention cues. Many parents mistake signs of hearing loss in their children with a seeming lack of attention to conversations.
Newborns that have been cleared by doctors at birth can still experience deterioration in sound perception as toddlers, especially if they are genetically predisposed to it. Audiologist Dr. Barbara Jenkins advocates that parents lookout for early symptoms of hearing loss in their children so that further testing can lead to proper diagnosis and treatment of the problem.