The Millstone Times April 2022


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Warning Signs of a Hearing Problem with my Child By Joely Phenes

About two to three out of every thousand children in the United States are born with mild to severe hearing loss. Hearing loss can cause serious problems with a child's language development so early treatment can be very ben- eficial. Unfortunately, symptoms can be hard to spot early on. Although most states test newborns, hearing loss is usually discovered around two years old. The following symptoms are early indicators of hearing loss in children: Symptoms in babies: • Does not act in response to his/her name • Is not startled or frightened by loud noises • Does not use or imitate simple words • Does not respond to music Symptoms in toddlers: • Unclear or delayed speech • Unable to follow directions (this is often mistaken for deliberately ignoring directions) • Turns up television, music, or video game volume too loud • Shows no interest in stories • Has trouble forming simple sentences

If your child exhibits one or more of these symptoms, it is important to remain calm and take the right steps. You should speak with your pediatrician and ask about scheduling an appointment with a pediatric audiologist. Audi- ologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of auditory disorders. He/she will conduct a hearing evaluation to determine if your child's hearing is, in fact, impaired. There are a number of ways to approach a hearing problem once identified. Hearing aids and cochlear implants amplify sounds to make them easier to hear. Children with hearing impairments can also be offered special education in an environment more suited to their needs. Hearing impairment is a serious issue, but, if caught early, will be much more manageable.

38 The Millstone Times

April 2022

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