-From Better Hearing Institute
Even when an infant passes a hearing screening test in the hospital, it is important to monitor developmental milestones for hearing, language and speech. If your child was born with visual, cognitive or motor disabilities, a comprehensive audiological evaluation would be important to ensure your child's hearing is completely normal.
Hearing assessment can be completed in children of any age using objective and subjective audiologic test technologies. Therefore, hearing testing should not be delayed. Confirmation of hearing loss is made following audiologic and medical assessment.
Hearing Milestones for Children From Birth to Age 5
Children's quality of life and development vitally depend on hearing. Children learn to speak because they hear others and themselves communicate. Hearing help your child learn to read, appreciate music, and receive warnings of approaching harm. Your child will have difficulty coping with many of life's challenges and opportunities at home and in school without good hearing.
|5 months||Turn to source of moderate & soft sounds|
|6 months||Recognize familiar voices & engage in vocal play with parents|
|9 months||Demonstrate understanding of simple words|
|10 months||Babbles by stringing multiple, single-syllable speech sounds together|
|12 months||One or more real, recognizable spoken words emerge|
|18 months||Understands simple phrases, retrieves, places or manipulates familiar objects on spoken request; points to body parts on request. Spoken vocabulary of 20-50 words and short phrases|
|24 months||Spoken vocabulary 200-300 words; speaks in simple sentences; most speech is understandable to adults not with the toddler on a daily basis; sits and listens to read-aloud story books|
|3 – 5 years||Uses spoken language constantly to express wants, reflect emotions, convey information and ask questions. Understands nearly al that is said. Vocabulary grows rapidly: 1000-2000 words; produces complex and meaningful sentences. All speech sounds are clear and understandable by 5 years.|
Risk Conditions for Childhood Hearing Loss
(Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, 2000)
Neonates from Birth Through 28 Days
An illness or condition requiring admission of 48 hours or greater to an infant care unit
Stigmata or other findings associated with a syndrome known to include a sensorineural and or conductive hearing loss
Family history of permanent hereditary childhood sensorineural hearing loss
Craniofacial anomalies, including those with morphological abnormalities of the pinna and ear canal
In-utero infection such as cytomegalovirus, herpes, toxoplasmosis, or rubella
Infants 29 Days Through 2 Years
Parental or caregiver concern regarding hearing, speech, language, and or developmental delay
Family history of permanent hereditary childhood hearing loss
Stigmata or other findings associated with a syndrome known to include a sensorineural and or conductive hearing loss or Eustachian tube dysfunction
Post-natal infections associated with sensorineural hearing loss including bacterial meningitis
In-utero infections such as cytomegalovirus, herpes, rubella, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis
Neonatal indicators, specifically hyperbilirubinemia at a serum level requiring exchange transfusion, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn associated with mechanical ventilation, and conditions requiring the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Syndromes associated with progressive hearing loss such as neurofibromatosis, osteopetrosis, and Usher's syndrome
Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Hunter syndrome, or sensory motor neuropathies, such as Friedreich's Aataxia and Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome
Recurrent or persistent otitis media with effusion for at least three 3 months
Signs of Hearing Problems
The single most important sign of hearing loss in children is the failure to develop, or the delayed development of spoken language.
If children have severe or profound hearing loss, it is usually obvious that they do not respond to sound. Sometimes it is difficult to detect mild forms of hearing loss, including hearing loss in only one ear. Even the more common forms of mild hearing loss, however, can negatively impact communication development and school performance.
Common Warning Signs for Hearing Loss Include:
- Family member or teacher concern regarding:
- hearing acuity
- delays or differences in speech and language development
- attention or behavioral difficulties
- academic performance
- Inappropriate, delayed, or lack of response to soft and moderate-level sounds: speech or environmental when distractions are minimal
- Use of "what?" or "huh?" frequently
- Intently watching the faces of speakers
- Difficulty understanding speech in background noise
- Sitting close to the TV set when the volume is adequate for others; increasing the TV or stereo/tape/CD player volume to unreasonably loud levels
- Not responding to voices over the telephone or switching ears continually when the phone is utilized
- Not startled by intense sounds
- Unable to locate the source of a sound accurately