Children typically develop their language and speech skills as they grow older. Some individuals, however, develop childhood hearing loss. Unfortunately, this problem can go undetected until the child is approximately two years old. Parents often notice the warning signs of hearing loss in children when it becomes obvious their little ones aren't talking yet. That's why intervention should happen as early as possible when it comes to treating childhood hearing loss.
One should treat the problem before the baby reaches six months of age. This increases the chances of achieving significantly better outcomes. Today, newborn hearing screening has become universal in hospitals nationwide and doctors are able to detect and treat hearing loss in children at much younger ages.
An infant who is less than or equals to four months old should be able to calm down upon hearing a familiar voice, respond to voices by cooing or smiling, waking up upon hearing loud noises, or be startled by loud sounds.
Infants who are between the ages of four and nine months should be able to understand simple hand motions (e.g., bye-bye waves), make babbling noises, turn his/her head toward familiar sounds, notice toys that create sounds, and smile when spoken to.
A baby who is between the ages of nine and 15 months should be able to respond to names, use his/her voice to get your attention, understand basic requests and repeat very simple sounds.
From 15 to 24 months, toddlers should be able to follow basic commands, point to familiar objects when named, listen to stories/rhymes/songs, name common objects, and point to body parts when asked.
Now that you know how young children's speech and hearing capabilities develop in the first two years of their lives, it is important to look out for signs of early hearing loss. Below is a non-exhaustive list to get you started:
Autosomal recessive hearing loss is recognized as the most common type of genetic congenital hearing loss. It is the cause of approximately 70 percent of all genetic hearing loss cases. This happens when each parent carries a recessive gene and passes it to his or her child. Other causes may include premature births, maternal diabetes, or a brain or nervous system disorder. In some cases, alcohol and/or drug abuse and smoking during pregnancy are also possible causes.
Hearing aids are designed to help children who are diagnosed with hearing loss hear clearly again. Today, one has a wide variety of pediatric hearing aids to choose from. These products have provided high-quality hearing assistance for children with profound hearing loss. Thanks to the availability of innovative accessories, children don't need to constantly remove their hearing aids and risk misplacing them.
If you suspect your child has hearing loss, consult with a pediatrician without delay. Alternatively, you may contact New Jersey Hearing Aid Consultants if your child is looking for a hearing aid.