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Does my child have impaired hearing?

Children with impaired hearing often learn to compensate for their lack of hearing by becoming more sensitive to other sensory inputs, such as changes in light caused by the opening or closing of a door, vibrations in the floor, or movements in the air.

Signs of impaired hearing in children may include: 

  • The child is not frightened by loud noises.
  • The child cannot localise a sound source (e.g. by turning its head towards the person speaking). A child with normal hearing will usually try to locate the source of a sound at around five to six months of age.
  • The child does not react as expected to sounds, such as his or her own name, at six months of age. 
  • The child ceases to make babbling sounds, or makes higher pitched crying sounds, at around six to eight months of age. 
  • The child’s babbling does not develop into recognisable speech sounds. 
  • The child often touches or pulls one or both ears. This may be a sign of pressure or infection in the ear. 
  • The child prefers high sound volumes, e.g. sits very close to the television. 
  • The child often misunderstands verbal instructions and does not respond to calling. 
  • The child withdraws from social contact and may react a little aggressively, due to frustration over the misunderstandings that can arise from impaired hearing.

If you think your child may have impaired hearing, contact your doctor.


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