While universal newborn hearing tests catch the majority of hearing loss in children, some do not develop hearing loss until they are slightly older.
Studies have varied throughout the years, but 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.
Because untreated hearing loss can put your child at a disadvantage while in class at Eagle Rock Elementary, it’s important to identify and treat any hearing issues as soon as possible.
Let’s look at some signs your infant, toddler or school-aged child may be struggling to hear.
Hearing Milestones in Children by Age
Knowing the average age children experience particular hearing and speech milestones can help give you a better perspective on whether or not your child might be struggling.
- 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 to the change of tone in 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” or “hat”. They may even be able to start speaking a few words, like “mama” though they may be difficult to understand.
- 1-2 years: At this age, children understand basic questions and commands and can listen to simple stories, poems or songs. They also begin to speak more and can start to put simple phrases together.
Hearing Loss in School-Aged Children
It can be harder to identify hearing loss in older children because they have likely developed coping mechanisms to help mask their issues. Signs may include:
- Doesn’t follow simple instructions or gets easily frustrated or confused when given them
- Is falling behind in speech and verbal skills in school
- Has to look directly at you when you’re speaking
- Seems especially exhausted after school
- Has trouble making friends or maintaining good grades
When in Doubt, Get a Hearing Test
Guidelines aren’t absolutes, so it’s important not to panic if you’re child isn’t hitting all of these in the exact timeframe listed below. However, if you’ve noticed a pattern of not meeting milestones or have any concerns, bring your child in to get their hearing tested.
Hearing tests are a quick and painless way to diagnose hearing loss. The sooner your child receives proper treatment, the sooner they can improve their speech and language skills and start meeting the same milestones as their peers.
To speak to an expert or schedule an appointment, call The House Institute Hearing Health Centers today.