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Groupe Forget - Polyclinique de l'Oreille
Symptoms of hearing loss in infants and children

SYMPTOMS OF HEARING LOSS IN INFANTS AND CHILDREN

What are the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in infants and children?

  • Ask people to repeat themselves
  • Exhibit delayed language development
  • Confuse sounds or pronounces them incorrectly
  • Show a decline in language development
  • Often have ear infections
  • Ask to turn up the volume of the radio or television
  • React abnormally to low, medium or loud sounds
  • Daydream, seem inattentive
  • Don’t answer to their name
  • Don’t turn or react when spoken to (when the child doesn’t see you, while in a different room or not facing you, for example)
  • Can’t find the person calling them from far away in the house
  • Have a family member with hearing loss
  • The parents think the child has hearing problems.

Although every child is unique, here are the general stages of communication development in babies and children.

From birth to 3 months, the baby should:

  • Startle in reaction to a loud noise
  • Relax, calm down when hearing familiar voices
  • Pay attention to familiar voices
  • Cry differently to express different needs
  • Make sounds to express pleasure (cooing)
  • Play at making sounds like “aah” and “ooo”

From 3 to 6 months:

  • Move or wake up to the sound of voices when sleeping
  • Turn the head when their name is said or there’s a noise, even if they don’t see you
  • Play at making sounds that progressively begin to resemble words/speech

From 6 to 8 months:

  • React and turn head when name is said
  • Understand common words like “no” and “bye-bye”
  • Babble, say “mamama,” “bababa”

From 8 to 15 months:

  • Repeat simple words and sounds
  • Try to grab or point to familiar objects when the objects are named
  • Understand simple instructions
  • Imitate familiar animal sounds
  • Correctly say “dada” or “mama”
  • Turn to face a sound

From 12 to 18 months:

  • Follow simple verbal instructions
  • Regularly use seven real words or more
  • At 18 months, 25% of the child’s speech should be intelligible

Starting at 24 months:

  • Point to parts of the body when named, without seeing your lips move
  • Start to combine two words, like “more, mama!”
  • Have a vocabulary of 50 to 250 words
  • At 2 years old, 50 to 75% of the child’s speech should be intelligible

Starting at 3 years old:

  • Name just about anything with one word
  • Have conversations with self or with toys
  • Have a vocabulary of 450 words
  • Construct sentences of 4 or 5 words
  • Follow conversations
  • At 3 years old, 75 to 100% of the child’s speech should be intelligible

If you suspect there are problems with your child’s development, it is recommended to have his or her hearing tested.

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