What is Hearing Loss in Children?
Hearing Loss in Children
Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop speech, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. If you think that a child might have hearing loss, ask the child’s doctor for a hearing screening as soon as possible. Don’t wait!
What is Hearing Loss?
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child. If you think that your child might have hearing loss, ask the child’s doctor for a hearing screening as soon as possible. Don’t wait!
Even if a child has passed a hearing screening before, it is important to look out for the following signs.
Signs in Babies
- Does not startle at loud noises.
- Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
- Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
- Turns head when he or she sees you but not if you only call out his or her name. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
- Seems to hear some sounds but not others.
Signs in Children
- Speech is delayed.
- Speech is not clear.
- Does not follow directions. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
- Often says, “Huh?”
- Turns the TV volume up too high.
Babies and children should reach milestones in how they play, learn, communicate and act. A delay in any of these milestones could be a sign of hearing loss or other developmental problem. Visit our web page to see milestones that children should reach from 2 months to 5 years of age.
Screening and Diagnosis
Hearing screening can tell if a child might have hearing loss. Hearing screening is easy and is not painful. In fact, babies are often asleep while being screened. It takes a very short time — usually only a few minutes.
All babies should have a hearing screening no later than 1 month of age. Most babies have their hearing screened while still in the hospital. If a baby does not pass a hearing screening, it’s very important to get a full hearing test as soon as possible, but no later than 3 months of age.
Children should have their hearing tested before they enter school or any time there is a concern about the child’s hearing. Children who do not pass the hearing screening need to get a full hearing test as soon as possible.
Treatments and Intervention Services
No single treatment or intervention is the answer for every person or family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way. There are many different types of communication options for children with hearing loss and for their families. Some of these options include:
- Learning other ways to communicate, such as sign language
- Technology to help with communication, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants
- Medicine and surgery to correct some types of hearing loss
- Family support services
Causes and Risk Factors
Hearing loss can happen any time during life – from before birth to adulthood.
Following are some of the things that can increase the chance that a child will have hearing loss:
- A genetic cause: About 1 out of 2 cases of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic causes. Some babies with a genetic cause for their hearing loss might have family members who also have a hearing loss. About 1 out of 3 babies with genetic hearing loss have a “syndrome.” This means they have other conditions in addition to the hearing loss, such as Down syndrome or Usher syndrome. Learn more about the genetics of hearing loss »
- 1 out of 4 cases of hearing loss in babies is due to maternal infections during pregnancy, complications after birth, and head trauma. For example, the child:
- Was exposed to infection, such as , before birth
- Spent 5 days or more in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or had complications while in the NICU
- Needed a special procedure like a blood transfusion to treat bad jaundice
- Has head, face or ears shaped or formed in a different way than usual
- Has a condition like a neurological disorder that may be associated with hearing loss
- Had an infection around the brain and spinal cord called meningitis
- Received a bad injury to the head that required a hospital stay
- For about 1 out of 4 babies born with hearing loss, the cause is unknown.
Following are tips for parents to help prevent hearing loss in their children:
- Have a healthy pregnancy.
- Make sure your child gets all the regular childhood vaccines.
- Keep your child away from high noise levels, such as from very loud toys. Visit the National Institutes of Health’s websiteexternal icon to learn more about preventing noise-induced hearing loss.
- If you think that your child might have hearing loss, ask the child’s doctor for a hearing screening as soon as possible. Don’t wait!
- If your child does not pass a hearing screening, ask the child’s doctor for a full hearing test as soon as possible.
- If your child has hearing loss, talk to the child’s doctor about treatment and intervention services.
Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop speech, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. If you are a parent and you suspect your child has hearing loss, trust your instincts and speak with your child’s doctor.
How to Use Art to Promote Your Child’s Self-expression
Contributed by: Lydia Westle, MMT, MT-BC and Hope A. Heffner-Solimeo, MA, ATR-BC, LPC
Original article published by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia can be found here.
Volunteer Training for Hearing Screenings
Join us for a brief orientation and training session!
Contact Jenna Harcher at 912.355.4601 or at email@example.com for information.
Wednesday, August 18th from 4:00-5:00
Savannah Speech and Hearing Center • 5414 Skidaway Road Savannah, GA 31406
A training video is available for any who cannot attend our live training.
Hello Friends of Savannah Speech & Hearing Center!
Each year, we have the good fortune to have a benefit for Savannah Speech and Hearing Center’s Sound Start School (A school for the deaf and hard of hearing) hosted by the Hammond for Hope Foundation. This year’s benefit will be held on Sunday, September 27, 2015. The Hammond for Hope Foundation invites friends and business associates of Savannah Speech & Hearing Center and the Savannah Community to gather for a dinner and auction that evening. The proceeds of the auction benefit Savannah Speech and Hearing Center’s Sound Start. Sound Start is the only auditory/oral school for the deaf and hard of hearing in the low country.
The following day, Monday, September 30th, friends and business associates participate in a wonderfully competitive golf tournament.
We would ask that the Savannah Community and supporters of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community donate items for the auction. In return, we can offer a great opportunity to advertise your products and services by posting your donation item and thus advertising your business on our website. We will feature items of local, regional and nationwide interest for silent bidding with a few select items for a live auction. We will display your literature and business cards with your donation. We also offer hole sponsorship at the golf tournament.
Last year’s Dinner/Auction and Golf Tournament was a tremendous success in part thanks to the generosity of numerous local Savannah business and benefactors. As a result of their kindness and those who so excitedly bid for those donations, we have seen the Sound Start School thrive. Please help us keep the momentum moving in such a positive direction by donating this year.
To ensure we have time to publicize your business on our website, receipt of your donation by September 15th, would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support of a great service in Savannah! Please call our auction chairman, Ann Curry, at (912) 355-4601 with any questions.
On behalf of Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, thank you for your support.