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How do I know if my child has hearing loss?

The signs and symptoms of hearing loss can be difficult to notice, especially in young children. Many parents do not know their child has hearing loss until he or she is at the age where they should be talking. Below are possible signs/symptoms of hearing loss in all children. 

  • Signs of hearing loss in babies or toddlers
    • Your child does not startle to loud sounds
    • Your child does not attempt to look for loud sounds
    • Your child does not babble or has stopped attempting to make new sounds
    • Your child does not follow simple commands (i.e. “Come here.”)
    • Your child does not react to familiar voices
    • Your child’s ear is malformed or missing at birth
    • Your child did not pass their newborn hearing screening at birth
  • Signs of hearing loss in school-aged children
    • Your child becomes frustrated easily and/or demonstrates behavioral concerns
    • Your child is experiencing a speech delay
    • Your child cannot follow simple commands or understand what you are saying unless they are looking directly at you
    • Your child cannot figure out where a sound is coming from
    • Your child is exhausted at the end of the day due to concentrating to understand speech 
    • Your child is not making good grades in school and has difficulty understanding the teacher
    • Your child failed their school hearing screening 

If you think your child could have hearing loss, it is extremely important to seek out services for them as soon as possible, as a hearing loss can contribute to a speech delay or learning difficulty. There is a critical period when speech and language development occurs. This critical period is typically between birth and about four years of age. If your child has not developed spoken language by this age, the chances of developing a spoken language decrease significantly. Why? During this critical period a child’s brain is forming and developing several different neural pathways. Once those neural pathways have formed they are extremely difficult to change.. Therefore, if your child has not begun speaking by four years of age, there is a high chance that he or she will have to rely on a manual mode of communication such as American Sign Language (ASL). If you have concerns regarding your child’s hearing or speech, schedule a visit with a pediatric audiologist as soon as possible.  

To learn more please visit our website: https://www.dallasear.com/education/hearing-loss/pediatric-hearing-loss/

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