Warning Signs That Your Child May Have Hearing Loss
More than 90 percent of children who are deaf and hard of hearing are born to hearing parents. Additionally, some babies may pass their newborn hearing screening before receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss later in their childhood.
Because of these facts, this diagnosis can come as a surprise, and families may not be aware of possible warning signs that their child is exhibiting in relation to their hearing loss. Recognizing a possible hearing loss can help your child get the audiological services they need and set them up on the right path toward a foundation of communication skills.
Possible Signs of Hearing Loss
The signs that your child may have hearing loss are not always obvious. They include:
Failure to turn to sounds
If you notice that your child is not responding to sounds, especially those that are louder in nature (like emergency vehicles or household appliances), it may be a sign that they are not hearing them.
Delayed speech and language development
Children who are not accessing a full range of sounds may show a delay in building their own language skills. This can manifest in the ability to produce specific sounds or a delay in making any attempts at verbal communication.
Avoiding eye contact
Children who are unable to localize where a sound is coming from may struggle to make eye contact with family members or other speakers.
Unable to follow directions
While an inability to follow single or step-by-step instructions might be attributed to behavior or stage of development, it is possible that a child is missing keywords or entire sentences due to hearing loss. For older children, this warning sign may display as the child constantly asking to have directions repeated.
Utilizing high levels of volume on electronics
Another warning sign more specific to children of an older age is shown when using listening devices. A child who turns music or television shows up to an unusually high level may be unable to hear the sounds at a typical decibel level.
What to Do if You Suspect Hearing Loss
Being overly alert to the signs of possible hearing loss is a positive. Because of the critical nature of hearing loss and its effect on development, any delay in diagnosis can have lifelong impacts on a child.
If you notice your child is exhibiting behaviors that may portend to hearing loss, alert your medical team immediately. Scheduling an appointment with an audiologist can help you determine if your concerns are valid and can give you answers as to what steps you need to take.
CCHAT watches daily as current and alumni students who are deaf and hard of hearing accomplish academic, social and vocational achievements that are on par with their hearing peers. The key is to recognize and diagnose hearing loss as early as possible to give them the best chance to succeed.
CCHAT can help you get the answers you need if you or someone you know suspects a child may have hearing loss. Call us at 916-361-7290 or use our contact page to speak with a professional staff member committed to providing vital resources throughout the process.