Hearing is Essential!

Hearing is vital to the development of speech of language in your child.  So please carefully consider today how WELL your child hears.  All newborns are screened before they leave the hospital which helps detect hearing loss earlier in babies.  But then frequent ear infections, medications that are toxic to the ear, illness (like meningitis, measles, flu), head injury and noise exposure can all lead to hearing loss later in childhood.  The American Speech-Language Hearing Association recommends having your child’s hearing further evaluated by a certified audiologist if you observe any of the following behaviors or symptoms of hearing loss:

-Your child is inconsistently responding to sound.
-Language and speech development is delayed.
-Speech is unclear.
-Volume is turned up high on TV, CD player, etc.
-Your child does not follow directions.
-Your child often says, “Huh?”
-Your child does not respond when called.

The importance of early identification of hearing loss in children includes:
– Receiving hearing aids (or cochlear implants) sooner
-Achieving their language and auditory potential
-Receiving early intervention
-Having parents who are informed!

Sometimes we just dismiss behavior indicative of hearing loss as a child having “selective listening” or choosing not to listen.  I’ve been there!  Recently my son was treated for severe wax impaction in both ears.  He is a typical 3 year old with selective listening and occasional defiant behavior.  After our pediatrician tried to treat the problem with little success, he referred us to the ENT.  Thankfully the ENT was able to remove the wax successfully.  But after seeing the severity of the impaction, the doctor informed me that my son hasn’t been able to hear very well for the past couple of months!  Who knew?!

Sometimes it can be tricky figuring out if your child hears you well or not.  But the important thing to remember is if you have any doubt, get their hearing checked out.  The peace of mind will be worth your effort!

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