Hearing Loss in Children and Early Intervention
Why is Early Intervention important for hearing loss in children?
Hearing is essential to the development of your child’s speech and language skills. Early intervention is the most important thing you can do for your child. With the proper intervention, early in life, most children with hearing loss can overcome the obstacles associated with the diagnosis and realize their full academic and social potential.
What are the signs my child may have hearing loss?
Amanda Wysocki, a Hearing Specialist at teli has extensive experience with children aged birth to five years, who are deaf or hard of hearing. Amanda reveals that, “The first two years of your child’s life are extremely important for the growth and development of age appropriate listening, language, and speech skills.”
While nearly all infants receive a newborn hearing screening when they are born, not all hearing loss is present from birth. “If your child did not pass this initial screening it is imperative that you follow up with a pediatric audiologist for evaluation,” explains Amanda. “It is vitally important for a parent to monitor their child’s development closely from birth for potential signs of hearing loss.”
Developmental milestones are the key indicators that any parent must monitor to be aware of potential childhood developmental delays. Some of those milestones your child should exhibit include:
- React with a physical response to a melody or rhythm
- Jump or appear startled by a load noise
- Appear to recognize primary caregivers voice
- Turn head or eyes toward the source of sound
- Appear to understand the relationship between words and gestures
- Responds to verbal commands
What if I suspect my child may have a hearing loss?
“A parent knows their child better than anyone and are often the first person to recognize that something just doesn’t seem right,” notes Amanda. If you are not observing one or more of the above signals from your child and you are concerned that your child may have a hearing loss, it is important to discuss the symptoms with your pediatrician as soon as possible. Your pediatrician can help refer you to a pediatric audiologist for an extensive hearing evaluation to properly diagnose a hearing loss and formulate a treatment plan.
What might I expect from Early Intervention support?
In the early stages of diagnosis, education of the parent or caregiver is an important part of Amanda’s work. “Helping the family understand the impact of hearing loss while providing hope is paramount. A diagnosis of hearing loss can be devastating to a family,” explains Amanda. “But there are signs of encouragement! Given early identification, early amplification, consistent use of devices, and proper Early Intervention Services, your child has the potential to develop on par with their hearing peers and reach their greatest ability.”
Again, taking action early can make the difference to your child’s future. If you have concerns about your child’s hearing, teli can help. Give us a call at 412-922-8322 to learn about our Hearing Services.