Parents should know the signs of hearing loss
Kristina Wahl M.A. CCC-SLP LSLS Cert. AVT
MedCentral Pediatric Therapy
The most common birth defect is hearing loss, affecting 12,000 children born in the United States every year, or 33 babies a day.
Hearing loss can be caused by genetic traits, premature birth, meningitis, head injuries and infections. More than 95 percent of children with hearing loss have at least one hearing parent.
Children learn language by hearing, so a baby's first months and years are critical for learning language and communication skills. For children with hearing loss, early screening, diagnosis and intervention can make a big difference. By law, all babies born in Ohio have their hearing screened shortly after birth. Most children with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk, but early intervention is the key.
Because hearing loss is an invisible handicap that can develop throughout childhood, parents need to watch for warning signs from the Alexander Graham Bell Association (www.agbell.org):
Birth to 3 months:
3 months to 6 months:
6 months to 10 months
Does the baby look toward the speaker when her name is called?
Does the baby understand common phrases, such as "bye-bye?"
10 months to 15 months
15 months to 18 months
18 months to 24 months
If you have concerns regarding your child's hearing or language development, talk with your child's pediatrician or family doctor.
Kristina Wahl M.A. CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist at MedCentral Pediatric Therapy.