Symptoms of Deafness in Toddlers

It sounds frightening, but your little child of 1-3 years, or in other words, your little toddler can suffer from hearing loss too. You might think how a toddler can suffer from deafness or hearing loss, but the truth is they might and it can be for many reasons. But to understand if your little child is going through any hearing problems, you must first know about the ideal state of a child’s behavior when they have perfect hearing.

With going through simple tests, hearing loss can be detected in children and then early intervention for best possible outcomes for language development can be started. However, it can happen that the simple tests couldn’t properly detect the problem in a newborn after birth, as genetic or evolved problems might not appear until a child gets a bit older. So, it’s important to identify the signs in your toddler that may suggest a possible hearing loss. Identifying the signs as quickly as possible, can help you to take the next steps.

Behaviors that Can Help You to Know that A Toddler Has Perfect Hearing Health

A possible hearing loss in a toddler can be indicated by delayed or absent speech development. You need to watch for critical developmental milestones to identify hearing loss in little children. Detecting symptoms of deafness and then treating it as soon as possible can help your toddler’s speech and language develop at a high rate. You should know about the following milestones to know how a toddler behaves when they don’t have any hearing problem.

  • At the age of 3 months, your baby can recognize your voice, makes cooing noises, and gets alarmed by loud and sudden noises.
  • At 6 months old, a baby recognizes familiar voices, turns their head toward interesting sounds and plays with their own voice, and laughs too. They use their voice to indicate comfort and discomfort, and have speechlike conversations with caregivers.
  • At 9 months, babies understand simple words like “Mom,” “Dad,” “bye-bye” and their own names. And by 10 months, your baby’s babbling should sound like a speech, with threads of single syllables (“na-na-na-na”).
  • By 12 months, a toddler starts saying one or more recognizable and spoken words.
  • By 18 months, your toddler should be able to retrieve their familiar objects on command (without gestures), and also point to their body parts. They should also understand simple phrases. Your toddler is now learning new words every week and has acquired a spoken vocabulary of 20 to 50 words and short phrases.
  • By 24 months, your toddler’s spoken vocabulary should get to 200 to 300 words, and they should be able to speak simple sentences. Adults that spend time with their child on a regular basis can understand their child’s speech. Your toddler should be able to sit and listen while you are reading something to them.

If your child fails to show these behaviors and seems not responding the way they should according to their age, it might be the case that they are suffering from hearing problems. Then you should take proper steps to make your toddler go through proper screenings and then you can detect if they actually have hearing problems or not. And the sooner you can detect any problem they might have, the better. As then you can take measures to improve your toddler’s speech and development.

Symptoms of Deafness in Children that have Developed Speech Skills

However, there are quite some more difficulties in order to identify hearing loss in those children who have already developed speech skills, as they might have developed coping techniques unconsciously to compensate for their loss. So, in order to identify if these children have any kind of hearing problem, you can look out for these signs. These signs might indicate the hearing problems-

  • Your child might seem to hear fine some of the time and then not respond to sounds or calls at some other times. Your child wants the TV volume louder than other members of the family.
  • Your child can’t get what you say properly and responds by “what?” or “huh?” more often than before. If this is the case, parents need to learn proper ways to communicate with their child.
  • Your child moves one of their ears forward while listening, or complains by saying they can only hear out of the “good ear.”
  • Their teacher might note that they don’t seem to respond in the classroom.
  • Many parents might assume their children were not paying attention when they said something and their children responded that they couldn’t hear. But it can be a case of an unidentified hearing loss.
  • It seems as though your child is just not being attentive to things.
  • Your child seems to speak louder than they used to.
  • When you speak to your child, they look at you intently, as they might be depending on visual cues.

Final Words

There are many possible causes of acquired hearing loss, which might appear months or years after birth. Most of the hearing loss in children that don’t have obvious risk factors such as premature birth and others, have a genetic cause. If you have concerns that your toddler has hearing problems or deafness, you should contact your pediatrician immediately for a referral to an audiologist. So that the audiologist can identify hearing loss in your child and go for a complete hearing evaluation.