A hearing test is the only sure way to tell if your toddler has a hearing problem. The test can be conducted by her paediatrician, a school nurse, or an audiologist.
At birth, all babies are given a newborn hearing screening and most children will usually receive a test at their regularly scheduled checkups. These periodic tests are very important. If a toddler has a hearing problem that is left untreated, it could result in learning disabilities and speech problems. Early diagnosis is essential to proper development.
If you are concerned that your toddler may have a hearing problem, here are some signs to look for. If you feel that your child has some of the signs, get them tested right away.
From 12 to 18 months of age, a child with a hearing problem:
· Will not like to play games such as patty-cake
· Will not be able to recognize the names of favourite things like their “blankie” or the family pet
· Will not be able to follow simple commands
· Does not turn their head in the direction of a sound
· Won’t babble
· Won’t be able to point to a body part when asked
· Will not imitate words
· Does not respond to music
From 19 to 24 months of age, a child with a hearing problem:
· Will not use more than a handful of words
· Cannot point to body parts when asked
· Will not respond with “yes” or “no”
· Does not enjoy being read or sang to
· Does not seem to understand simple phrases
From 25 to 29 months of age, a child with a hearing problem:
· Will not answer questions
· Will not form simple sentences
· Cannot respond to two commands such as “sit down and eat your food”
· Is not interested in play that involves talking or singing
From 30 to 36 months of age, a child with a hearing problem:
· Cannot choose items by size. Example; “Show me which block is smaller”
· Does not ask questions
· Does not understand the possessive terms “yours” and “mine”
· Cannot understand phrases such as “no more” or “not right now”Will not use verbs or plurals when speaking
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