Pediatric Hearing Services

If You Think Your Child Has a Hearing Loss

It is important that parents be aware of their child’s hearing from the moment their child is born. Many things can affect a child’s hearing. Some children run a high risk of hearing loss due to heredity or prenatal complications including rubella, syphilis, low birth weight, meningitis, and asphyxia. Toddlers and preschool age children may acquire a temporary or permanent hearing loss with repeated middle ear infections. Older children may acquire a hearing loss with repeated exposure to loud noise such as loud music.

If you suspect your child has difficulty hearing, seek professional help immediately. Early attention to your child’s hearing will help your child reach his or her full potential.

Here are a few guidelines to help you determine if your child’s hearing is normal.

From birth to three months the child should:

  • Startle or cry at loud noises
  • Stop moving and seem to listen to speech or sounds
  • Awaken at a loud sound

From three to six months your child should:

  • Look toward a sound or speaker
  • Smile when spoken to
  • Recognize mother’s voice
  • Enjoy rattles and other toys that make sounds

From six to nine months your child should:

  • Responds to his or her name
  • Babble and make lots of different sounds
  • Respond to ‘no’

From nine to twelve months your child should:

  • Turn to look when name is called
  • Listen to people talking
  • Respond to simple commands such as ‘give me’, or ‘come here’
  • Understands ‘bye-bye’

From twelve to eighteen months your child should:

  • Point to objects or familiar people by name
  • Imitate simple sounds or words
  • Follow simple spoken directions
  • Say 2-3 words by age one and 8-10 words by 18 months

From 1 and 1/2 years to age five your child should:

  • Hear you call from another room
  • Hear and understand conversation easily
  • Hear TV or music at same loudness level as everyone else
  • Hear quiet speech
  • Have normal voice qualities and verbal language
  • Show social rapport appropriate for his or her age