Besides being a major concern for parents, hearing loss in children has the potential to limit or hold back cognitive development, social interaction, and learning. Early identification of childhood hearing loss greatly improves my capacity to treat it and provide the necessary support to enhance the hearing capacity as well as the development of your child. To help parents recognize the possibility of hearing loss in their child, I have assembled a brief list of warning signs of hearing loss in children.
Basic Warning Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
It is a known fact that all children have a degree of selective hearing or moments when they choose to tune out your voice, directives, and advice. However, apart from these isolated incidents, there are some identifiable warning signs that should alert you to the possibility that your child is experiencing hearing loss, including:
• Hears with clarity in some situations, but does not respond in others
• Requests or increases television volume more frequently than other family members
• Asks others to repeat themselves often
• Turns his/her head with one ear toward you when you speak or mentions hearing with his “good” ear
• Falling grades and/or notes concerning attention and classroom participation from teachers
• Frequent claims that he/she did not hear you
• Decreased participation in family social activities, isolation, or simply not paying attention to conversations that include them
• Your child speaks louder than they used to
• A look of intense concentration, like he/she is straining to hear you when you are speaking
There are many possible factors contributing to some of these warning signs. However, if you identify several of them together, they should motivate you to consider hearing loss as a possible cause.
Warning Signs of Hearing Loss in Toddlers
Identifying hearing loss in toddlers differs slightly from its detection in older children. For the most part, toddlers are not as apt to simply tune you out. Consequently, it is somewhat easier to identify the warning signs of hearing loss in toddlers, which include:
• Fails to react to loud noises or startling sounds
• Makes no attempt to explore where a particular noise is coming from
• Ceases to babble or experiment with making various sounds
• Babbles but sounds do not progress toward understandable speech
• No reaction to voices, even when being held
Unlike in older children, the presence of these signs in toddlers very likely relates to hearing loss and should be sufficient cause for concern.
What to Do About Hearing Loss in Children
A hearing assessment is your first step to determining whether your child is experiencing a hearing loss. Many schools and preschools provide hearing screenings designed to identify hearing loss. Take advantage of these opportunities and seek out an audiologist if these screenings identify a possible hearing loss. If hearing screenings are not a part of your school’s healthcare, be sure to seek professional hearing assessments every two to three years as a part of normal healthcare.
The team at Audicles and I take childhood hearing loss seriously. We have the capacity to assess hearing loss in your children, regardless of their age, and provide the best advice and treatment for improving their hearing or helping them overcome hearing-related obstacles. Contact us to learn more about the hearing loss solutions for children available from Audicles today.