It’s estimated that two to three children out of every 1000 have some form of detectable hearing loss in one of both ears when they are born. If you suspect that your child may have difficulties with their hearing, here are some signs you should look for.
1. Limited or No Speech
As your child grows into a toddler, they may experience limited speech skills due to hearing difficulties. This is because their difficulties with hearing make it difficult for them to pick up and acquire new words. This can lead to them either having an underdeveloped vocabulary for their age or no speech at all. However, hearing difficulties aren’t the only causes of problems like this, as sometimes autism can present similarly in toddlers. This makes getting a hearing exam even more important to ensure that any other conditions aren’t creating difficulties.
Some children who have hearing difficulties may also not respond the same way to interactions that hearing-able children would. For instance, as a toddler, many children recognize their names and will turn or respond if their name is called. However, if a child has difficulty hearing, they may not respond when you say their name or when you ask them a question. However, as with the above, this could also signify other conditions such as autism, so a hearing exam is necessary for finding out what is causing the inattentiveness.
3. Turning Their Head to Hear You
As your child gets older, they may subconsciously learn to turn their heads to hear better if their hearing impairment is worse in one ear than the other. If you’ve noticed that your child turns their head to one specific side when listening, this may indicate that they’re having difficulty with their hearing. This could also correlate with your child speaking in a louder voice or listening to the television at a higher volume than anyone else in your household.
Work as a Family
If you have any suspicion that your child is experiencing difficulty hearing, seek out an exam from your doctor. If your child does have hearing difficulties, there are hearing aid centers across the country that can help them regain their hearing.
As your child gets older, depending on how significant their hearing loss is, they — and the whole family — may also benefit from learning sign language so that everyone can communicate even if your child isn’t wearing their hearing aids.
Hearing loss doesn’t have to be a negative thing, and there are many things that you can do as a family to help give your child a head start towards success.