Some babies are born with hearing problems. Other children are born with normal hearing and begin to have hearing problems as they grow older.
You can help your child's doctor to decide if your child's hearing needs to be tested. Hearing problems can be temporary or permanent. Hearing problems can happen because of ear infections, injuries, or diseases.
If your child doesn't hear well or speak clearly, take action.
Read the hearing checklist. Find your child's age. Check yes or no for every item. After you complete the checklist, show it to your child's doctor. Ask the doctor questions. Talk about the items checked no. If you think your child has trouble hearing, tell the doctor right away.
Your Baby's Hearing Checklist
|Birth to 3 Months|
|Reacts to loud sounds.||
|Is soothed by your voice.||YES||NO|
|Turns head to you when you speak.||YES||NO|
|Is awakened by loud voices and sounds.||YES||NO|
|Smiles when spoken to.||YES||NO|
|Seems to know your voice and quiets down if crying.||YES||NO|
|3 to 6 Months|
|Looks upward or turns toward a new sound||YES||NO|
|Responds to "no" and changes in tone of voice.||YES||NO|
|Imitates his/her own voice.||YES||NO|
|Enjoys rattles and other toys that make sounds.||YES||NO|
|Begins to repeat sounds (such as ohh, ahh, and ba-ba)||YES||NO|
|Becomes scared by a loud voice.||YES||NO|
|6 to 10 Months|
|Responds to his/her own name, telephone ringing, someone's voice, even when not loud.||YES||NO|
|Knows words for common things (cup, shoe) and sayings ("bye-bye")||YES||NO|
|Makes babbling sounds, even when alone.||YES||NO|
|Starts to respond to requests such as "come here."||YES||NO|
|Looks at things or pictures when someone talks about them.||YES||NO|
|10 to 15 Months|
|Plays with own voice, enjoying the sound and feel of it.||YES||NO|
|Points to or looks at familiar objects or people when asked to do so.||YES||NO|
|Imitates simple words and sounds; may use a few single words meaningfully.||YES||NO|
|Enjoys games like peak-a-boo and pat-a-cake.||YES||NO|
|15 to 18 Months|
|Follows simple directions, such as "give me the ball."||YES||NO|
|Uses words he/she has learned often.||YES||NO|
|Uses 2-3 word sentences to talk about and ask for things.||YES||NO|
|Knows 10 to 20 words.||YES||NO|
|18 to 24 Months|
|Understands simple "yes-no" questions (Are you hungry?).||YES||NO|
|Understands simple phrases ("in the cup," on the table").||YES||NO|
|Enjoys being read to.||YES||NO|
|Points to pictures when asked.||YES||NO|
|24 to 36 Months|
|Understands "not now" and "no more."||YES||NO|
|Chooses things by size (big, little).||YES||NO|
|Follows simple directions such as "get your shoes" and "drink your milk."||YES||NO|
|Understands may action words (run, jump).||YES||NO|
|When to talk to your doctor|
|Talk to your doctor if you think your child has a hearing problem.||YES||NO|
|Do others in the family, including brothers or sisters have a hearing problem?||YES||NO|
|The child's mother had medical problems in
pregnancy or delivery
(serious illness or injury, drugs or medications).
|The baby was born early (premature). Weight at birth was: _________________________||YES||NO|
|The baby had physical problems at birth.||YES||NO|
|The child rubs or pulls on the ear(s) often.||YES||NO|
|The child had meningitis.||YES||NO|
|The child had _______ ear infections in the past year.||YES||NO|
|The child has colds, allergies, and ear infections, once a month ________more often________.||YES||NO|
Some words the doctor may use:
- audiogram: a chart that shows how well a person can hear.
- audiologist: a person who tests and measures hearing.
- earache: pain in the ears caused by infections or growths.
- otitis media: infection of the middle ear.
- otolaryngologist: a doctor who treats diseases and problems of the ear, nose, and throat.
- otologist: a doctor who treats diseases of the ear.
- pediatrician: a doctor who takes care of infants and children and who treats their diseases.
- speech/language pathologist: a person who helps people improve speech, language, and voice.
SOURCE: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Your Child's Hearing Development Checklist