As a parent, you'll probably be the first to notice when something is wrong with your child. When it comes to your child's hearing, there are definite signs to look for that indicate that your child may need help:
- Your baby does not make sounds, or makes fewer sounds after four to six months of age than he did when just a few weeks old.
- Your baby doesn't move or wake up when there is a loud sound.
- Your baby doesn't turn his head towards your voice.
- Your child's language seems to be developing very slowly.
- Your child has trouble hearing in a group, or when there is background noise.
- Your child frequently mishears what you're saying.
- Your child has an odd sound to her speech, or has a peculiar voice.
- Your child strains to watch someone talk, or hears better when watching the speaker's face.
- Your child doesn't react when you speak quietly or behind her back.
- And, you notice your child responds better when you speak into one ear, rather than the other.
If you notice one or more of these signs, don't ignore them - they could mean that your child has a speech or hearing problem and needs help. It's time to ask your child's physician for a referral to an audiologist for a hearing test. For more information, call the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at 1-800-259-8519.