It is always a terrifying and upsetting prospect that there may be something wrong with your child and the not having the ability to hear is a big fear for many parents. It is something that many have to face, the fact that their child clearly has some sort of disability that will have an impact on the rest of their lives. It is not something that should be ignored and should be seen to as soon as experts such as hiddenhearing.co.uk can identify a problem.
3 million children in the world aged 18 and under suffer from some form of a hearing impairment. Poor or no hearing can slow down a child’s development and in particular speech and language. It is important to be able to spot the signs of a hearing related problem as soon as possible, the need for diagnosis and treatment is essential and can lessen the negative impact it will have as the child grows.
Babies and toddlers should be constantly alert and react to loud noises. They may not cry but they may turn in the direction of the noise trying to determine the cause. If they do not, and this happens regularly then there could be a problem.
Young children imitate the noises that they hear, the sounds adults make and the things they hear around them. If there are no signs of this then it is best to seek some advice from your health visitor or doctor.
The voice, particularly of the mother, can be enough to soothe a crying and upset child. In some cases it may not be effective in every case but there should be times that you can calm a child by talking to them. No reaction, calming down etc could be an indication to there being a problem.
As with loud noises, children often turn to find the direction of a familiar voice as they associate it with comfort and care. Test to see if your baby will respond to you when you call them or talk to them from a distance.
No Baby Talk
Babies, from a very young age, will gurgle and babble and begin their own way of communicating which we refer to as baby talk. It is their way of beginning to form words and make noises to test their own ability. Mute babies are unusual and this will be very noticeable.
Generally appearing to be in their own world, not responding to you or noises, or anything new and unfamiliar will indicate they are not picking up on certain tones and pitches or sounds at all.
Children that have hearing problems usually have speech and language problems, the two tend to go hand in hand. If your child is beginning to speak, babble etc and it does not sound normal then medical tests and advice is the next step.
They will develop much slower than children of the same age if they are suffering from a hearing disability and as they age, it will become clearer.
If you are concerned then discuss it with your doctor, health visitor or an expert that can recommend the next step to take in finding out if there is a problem. A hearing test will usually be suggested to rule out a problem or to diagnose the severity of the issue. Multiple hearing tests will be carried out to determine each stage and to look into the treatment methods. It is a sad fact that may have to be faced but you are not alone and there are solutions and tools that can help should your baby have a hearing impairment.
Editor’s note: We here at Earnest Parenting are very thankful for the improvements the medical community has made over the past several decades in regard to children and hearing. We are personally familiar with the cost of hearing loss, and were most grateful to doctors who took the time to make sure our boys were hearing fine. Even if it did mean driving to the city when the president of the United States was visiting and trying to get 2 babies to a hearing test while sleeping. Ugh.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to make sure their children can indeed hear.