Does Your Child Need to See a Pediatric Hearing Specialist?
While hearing loss in children may not be common, it isn’t unheard of. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 2 or 3 out of every 1,000 kids in the US are born with some kind of hearing loss. A pediatric hearing doctor is a professional that has experience examining children for hearing loss and other related problems. They’ll perform tests on adolescents, kids, toddlers, and babies to discover the presence of hearing loss and find out what caused it and the extent of the damage. They’re trained to recognize early signs of hearing loss and a hearing aid doctor for kids is best equipped to handle hearing issues in young people. Early intervention is key to preventing further damage and helping your child obtain the best listening devices so they can stay on target with speech and language development. Here’s how to know if your child should see an audiologist.
Behavioral and Speech Issues
If you or your child’s teacher notice that any speech or behavioral problems at school or at home, this may be the first sign of a late-onset hearing issue. If a child cannot hear a parent or teacher’s instructions, it may seem that they are acting out, but really it might be frustration. Some indicators to look for are:
Consistently asks you to repeat words
Doesn’t react or has a delayed reaction when his or her name is called
Only responds when they’re looking directly at you
Has attention problems or trouble following directions
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to take your child to a hearing aid doctor for an evaluation. Some states provide free hearing screenings for young children and various tests are covered by insurance, so it may not cost as much as you think.
While a newborn hearing screening may not be required by law in some states, it’s always highly recommended. A hearing aid doctor for kids should perform a screening on your little one while they’re still in the hospital. If their test comes back inconclusive or positive for possible hearing loss, they may require a follow-up visit to their office. If they find your baby is at risk, they may recommend that they provide periodic screenings throughout the child’s life to watch for changes and find signs of damage as they get older.
If your child is suffering from hearing loss, they should see a pediatric audiologist or hearing aid doctor to design a treatment plan. Call the medical professionals at Oklahoma Hearing Center to learn about options such as implants, hearing aids, surgery, or speech, language, and occupational therapies.