Getting the Facts About Hearing Loss in Children
When it comes to the development of a child’s social and learning skills, hearing is one of the major contributing factors. Many may not realize just how important hearing is to the developmental process of a child. Children learn and develop by imitating the sounds that they hear. If a child has a hearing issue that goes unnoticed, they will miss out on much of the sounds, speech, and language around them that they need to develop properly. Missing out on this information will definitely cause a delay in a child’s speech and language, which will in turn, affect their academic success. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss in children in order to prevent your own child from having any challenges.
Types of hearing loss. There are only two types of hearing loss. The first type of hearing loss is congenital which means the child was born with the hearing issue. The second type of hearing loss is acquired which means that the hearing loss occurred sometime after birth.
Causes of hearing loss. The causes of congenital hearing loss could be any of the following:
-infections during pregnancy
-ototoxic medication used during pregnancy
-disorder of the brain or nervous system
-family history of hearing loss
The causes of acquired hearing loss could be any of the following:
-untreated middle-ear infections
-other infections (meningitis, mumps, measles, etc.)
-perforation of the eardrum
-serious head injury
Aside from these causes, some causes of hearing loss, such as earwax or middle-ear infections, will not lead to permanent hearing loss; for young children it is common for hearing loss to be temporary.
What should you look for? It is extremely important to look for signs of hearing loss from the time your child is an infant to the time that they are in their toddler years. When your child is born to the time that they are two, you should look for the following things:
- Your child should:
-jump at sudden loud noises
-recognize your voice
-turn their head/eyes towards familiar sounds
-smile when spoken to
-notice rattles and other toys that make sound
-cry differently depending on what they need
-make babbling sounds
-understand simple words and hand motions
-respond to their name
-understand simple requests
-repeat some sounds you make
-use their voice to attract attention
-point to familiar objects when they are named
-use several different words
-point to body parts when asked
-name common objects
-put two or more words together
When your child reaches toddler age, when they will be going off to preschool soon, you should look for the following signs:
- Your child should not:
-be inattentive often
-have poor speech
-have difficulty learning
-need to increase the volume of a TV
-respond inappropriately to questions
-not respond when you call them
-watch others to copy what they are doing
-complain of earaches, ear pain, or head noises
-have difficulty hearing what people are saying
-speak differently from other children their age.
How can it be treated? There are many things to do if you believe your child may have a hearing issue. The first thing to do would be to take your child to your family physician and get their opinion. If your child does have hearing loss, your physician can get them any equipment that they will need. You will also want to get into contact with a speech and hearing therapist in order to fix any developmental delays that may have formed already.
We offer the services that have been mentioned above. If your child has a hearing disability, we can give them the individualized services that they need to get where they need to be developmentally and to experience success both in and out of the classroom.
Contact us at https://www.acbdd.org/ to see what services we can provide for you and your family.