A child’s development and quality of life depend fundamentally on his ability to hear. Children learn how to speak by listening to others and themselves communicate. Hearing helps your child learn to read, appreciate music and pick up warnings about dangerous situations. Without a good sense of hearing, your child will have difficulty tackling life’s challenges and opportunities – whether at home or at school. Discovering a hearing loss and fitting a child early with hearing aids is thus of utmost importance to allow the affected an age-appropriate development.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s hearing ask your physician for a thorough audiological (hearing) assessment. An assessment will determine whether, and to what extent, a hearing loss is present. No child is too young to have his hearing checked. Modern technology makes it possible to examine even newborn babies for signs of hearing loss, a process which is standard practice in many places.
While basic hearing tests can be conducted by trained nursing staff, a comprehensive examination of a child’s hearing ability should only be carried out by a qualified specialist (e.g. an Ear-Nose-Throat specialist or pediatric audiologist). An audiological examination establishes whether there is any loss of hearing and the degree and type of this hearing loss. An early diagnosis offers the chance to compensate the hearing loss using the latest technology. The success of numerous forms of treatment proves that it is possible to give children who are hard of hearing a basis for optimal hearing and, consequently, better opportunities to fulfill their potential.
Joey McIntyre speaks out about hearing loss in children and the importance of pediatric hearing testing. Learn more about how Joey McIntyre supports Hear the World.