Signs of hearing loss vary from child to child, and sometimes parents and teachers can rely only on their instincts. If you ever suspect that a child has hearing loss, take him or her to get a hearing screening as soon as possible.

However, even though the signs of hearing loss will vary, the CDC has put together a list of signs of hearing loss in babies and children that is useful.

Signs of hearing loss in Babies

  • Does not startle at loud noises.
  • Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
  • Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
  • Turns head when he or she sees you but not if you only call out his or her name. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Seems to hear some sounds but not others.

Signs of hearing loss in Children

  • Speech is delayed.
  • Speech is not clear.
  • Does not follow directions. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Often says, “Huh?”
  • Turns the TV volume up too high.

Also, if children have any delay in reaching milestones (in play, communication, learning, and behavior) this could be a sign of hearing loss. Here is a list of other questions to ask yourself about your child or student, adapted from Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Does the child:

  1. Respond inappropriately to questions?
  2. Not reply when you call him/her?
  3. Watch others to imitate what they are doing?
  4. Have problems academically?
  5. Complain of earaches, ear pain or head noises?
  6. Have difficulty understanding what people are saying?

Hearing testing is not painful and is easy to do. If a teacher suspects a hearing loss, he/she should inform the parents. Parents may contact us and schedule an appointment.

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