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Babies can’t talk to tell you that they can’t hear you. However, if you know what to look for, their behavior will tell you all you need to know. If you suspect that your child has hearing difficulties, it’s important to get their hearing checked out. Hearing challenges affect how your child will learn and interact with the world. If you’re concerned that your baby might have a hearing impairment, here are some signs to look for.
1. Up to Three Months Old
According to the Baby Center website, a hearing impairment in a child three months and under manifests in some specific ways. This child doesn’t respond to sounds at all, be it music, voices, or the dogs barking outside.
Additionally, this child doesn’t find comfort and soothing in soft sounds like the tinkling of a music box or a lullaby’s melody. They also won’t manifest early signs of talking like making “oooh” sounds. Finally, this child will not be disturbed by loud noise when he/ she sleeps.
2. Up to Eight Months
From four to eight months, a hearing loss manifests in a more pronounced way. If your child has a hearing loss, they may not enjoy toys that make noise. They may also “ignore” people when they talk to them. This will be signaled by your child not turning their head to face whomever is speaking.
There will also be a lack of speech-making. A child who can’t hear can’t imitate sounds, which indicate the beginnings of speech. Finally, the only sounds that your child pays attention to may be sounds that also have an accompanying vibration. In this case, your child will feel the sound but not hear it.
3. Up to a Year Old
If you’re calling and calling your child’s name, but your child doesn’t respond, there’s a good chance that your child is hearing impaired. Your child may also not understand simple commands like “come here” or “stop that.”
Additionally, they won’t recognize some common first words like “shoe” or “doggie” nor will he/ she vary how her speech sounds. There will also be a lack of common first words like “mama” or “dada.” Finally, music won’t affect them in the same it affects other children. Your child won’t sway or dance to the music, though they may feel the vibration of it.
4. Other Signs
Your child might not experience a complete hearing loss, but rather they could be hearing impaired. That means that they possess the ability to hear some sounds but not others. For example, some hearing loss manifests in an inability to hear certain pitches. Your baby may have an easier time hearing male but not female voices. Your baby may also be unable to distinguish sounds when you’re out in public. The background noise may be too much in this case.
If you’ve recognized any of these symptoms in your child, you may want to have your child checked out by an audiologist. Such a person might have gotten a, either through a physical institution or online, deaf education degree. A person in that profession would be able to identify hearing issues in a number of ways. First, an audiologist runs tests to determine if there is, indeed, a hearing loss or a hearing impairment. This professional can also fit your child with hearing aids or determine if your child is a candidate for cochlear implants.
Finally, your child’s audiologist may recommend that your child also work with a speech pathologist. Hearing loss creates problems with speech-making and with speech. A pathologist can work with your child to improve their ability to speak and to recognize different sounds if hearing is at least partially restored.
Discovering that your child has a hearing loss or impediment can feel devastating. This condition affects just about every aspect of your child’s social and psychological development. There are also dangers that come with hearing loss like not being able to hear on-coming cars on the road. If you suspect your child has a hearing loss have it checked out. You can then begin getting him/ her the treatment needed in order to have a more fulfilling life.