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  • Writer's pictureDr. Shannon Parker

Hearing Loss During Early Childhood

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month! Many people think that hearing loss is a condition that only occurs when a person reaches "old age", however hearing difficulties can be congenital (present at birth), or may develop at any time during one's lifespan. Over this month we will discuss hearing loss in different stages of life.

hearing test for baby by audiologist

Let's start with hearing loss during early childhood (birth - three years old). Most children have their hearing screened after birth before they leave the hospital for the first time. Most children pass their hearing tests, however there are 1 to 3 children per every 1,000 births that are born with hearing loss. Hearing is imperative to cognitive development and speech and language development.

According to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, here are some signs of a speech or language disorder in a young child (age 3 and under):

  • Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)

  • Does not babble (4 - 7 months)

  • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7 - 12 months)

  • Does not understand what others say (7 months - 2 years)

  • Says only a few words (12 - 18 months)

  • Says words that are not easily understood by others (18 months - 2 years)

  • Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5 - 3 years)

  • Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2 - 3 years)

If your child displays any of these indicators please contact Dr. Shannon Parker or your local audiologist for a hearing evaluation.

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