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Hearing Loss

Identifying Deafness or Partial Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can greatly impede a child’s development. When a child cannot hear what is going on around them, it limits their ability to communicate and learn. Hearing loss can impede a child’s ability to learn to talk, and/or understand the speech of another. However, if the hearing loss is caught early enough, most children can develop normal intellect and lead very productive lives.

Infants with Hearing Loss

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Infants who are deaf or who have impaired hearing, will cry and babble just like any other baby. One of the many symptoms of a child that has a hearing impairment is that their babbling does not progress into speaking or learning words. Many times a deaf or hearing-impaired baby may cease babbling altogether as he or she nears their first birthday. If you have a child who has not learned to talk by 18 months, you should have his or her hearing checked.

What Causes Deafness or Partial Hearing Loss?

Deafness may run in the family gene pool. Deafness may also afflict a baby if their mother had syphilis or rubella when they were pregnant with the child. Brain trauma during delivery may be another cause of deafness or partial hearing loss.

Seeking Medical Attention

It is vital to a child’s health that they are seen by a doctor. Usually, a doctor can identify the reason for the child’s inability to hear and can take measures to correct or improve the matter. There are special instruments that physicians can use that can tell them what kind of deafness a child has.

If the reason for the deafness cannot be diagnosed or eliminated, a hearing aid may be prescribed for a child to restore hearing. If a child is unresponsive to a hearing aid, special training will be scheduled for a child. This will teach the child how to lip read, perform sign language, and speak.

What You Can Do

If you have a child who is deaf or has partial hearing loss, you should encourage him or her to use his or her voice as much as possible. You should also learn how to sign and gesture to communicate with him or her. Try to face your child when speaking and never chew gum. Children as young as twelve months have been known to lip read. Provide extra stimulation through your child’s other senses. Love your child and provide a warm and supportive home for him or her.

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