Have you ever yelled at your child for not paying attention? What if you’re the one not paying enough attention to them?
In every 1000 children, approximately one to three have hearing loss.
Sound is one of the main ways we experience the world. Without it, a child can have problems developing their verbal and social skills. Unfortunately, signs of hearing loss are often brushed off as stubborn child behavior.
So, what is the first sign of hearing loss?
Kids having selective hearing is a running joke among parents. So is your child choosing not to listen, or really can’t hear?
From the Moro reflex to the acoustic startle response (ASR), reacting to sound is part of the human program. This is one of the first signs of hearing loss since it’s easier to observe. If your child doesn’t startle or react to loud noises, they’re not faking it.
Hence, you’re better off observing them during a thunderstorm rather than guessing if they’re ignoring your calls for dinner.
2. Speech Development Problems
Children learn to speak by listening to and acquiring the language around them.
Meaningless babbling normally starts turning into words around 10 to 15 months. Two years old would be the longest acceptable delay for language formation. If they still can’t say simple, understandable words, inform your doctor.
However, it still depends on the level of hearing loss. For example, signs could appear as frequent mispronunciations instead of speech delays.
3. Frustration or Withdrawal
We’re always told to talk about problems to avoid bottled-up emotions. Unfortunately, that’s not an option for children yet, so they turn to other forms of expression.
Inability or difficulty processing so many auditory experiences can be very frustrating to a child. As a result, they could act out or withdraw into silence—especially if you meet their frustration with a reprimand.
Not only are these early signs of hearing loss, but they also show the first effects of hearing loss on a child’s mental health.
4. Learning Difficulties
Sound-based learning is so integrated into our teaching systems. We just expect them to work. So when they don’t, most people are quick to blame the student rather than the system.
Children with hearing loss require different teaching methods. They simply can’t reach their highest potential with common verbal education. This could lead to poor performance in school, anxiety, and lower self-esteem.
5. Loud Speaking and Listening Preferences
In general, children can be loud. They cry and scream with no regard for social etiquette that they have yet to learn about. It’s a normal but sometimes misleading stereotype.
Children with milder hearing loss can develop speech well. Due to this, they can go longer undiagnosed. However, the signs they exhibit, like loud talking or watching TV at a higher volume than most, still seem like typical child behavior.
As a parent, it’s not an overreaction to seeing more than that. It’s always better safe than sorry. Schedule a pediatric hearing screening to ease your suspicions!
Is Your Child Showing Signs of Hearing Loss?
Do any of these signs sound familiar? Could you have noticed them from your child?
If so, don’t panic. These signs of hearing loss are here to help you make informed decisions for your child.
You can’t do that if you don’t know enough. So read more of our articles to arm yourself with the necessary information.