Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

ODHHS Information
Does Your Child Have a Hearing Problem?
(Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIDCD)
Does Your Child Have A Hearing Problem?

Some babies are born with hearing problems. Other children are born with normal hearing and begin to have hearing problems as they grow older.

You can help your child´s doctor to decide if your child´s hearing needs to be tested. Hearing problems can be temporary or permanent. Hearing problems can happen because of ear infections, injuries, or diseases.

Read the Hearing Checklist. Find your child´s age. Check yes or no for every item. After you complete the Checklist, show it to your child´s doctor. Ask the doctor questions. Talk about the items checked no. If you think your child has trouble hearing, tell the doctor right away.

Some words the doctor may use:
  • AUDIOGRAM: a chart that shows how well a person can hear.
  • AUDIOLOGIST: a person who tests and measures hearing.
  • EARACHE: pain in the ears caused by infections or growths.
  • OTITIS MEDIA: infection of the middle ear.
  • OTOLARYNOGOLOGIST: a doctor who treats diseases and problems of the ear, nose, and throat.
  • OTOLOGIST: a doctor who treats diseases of the ear.
  • PEDIATRICIAN: a doctor who takes care of infants and children and who treats their diseases.
  • SPEECH/LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST: a person who helps people improve speech, language, and voice.

Your Baby´s Hearing Checklist

Birth to 3 Months

Reacts to loud sounds. ___yes ___no
Is soothed by your voice. ___yes ___no
Turns head to you when you speak. ___yes ___no
Is awakened by loud voices and sounds. ___yes ___no
Smiles when spoken to. ___yes ___no
Seems to know your voice and quiets down if crying. ___yes ___no

3 to 6 Months

Looks up or turns toward a new sound. ___yes ___no
Responds to "no" and changes in tone of voice. ___yes ___no
Imitates his/her own voice. ___yes ___no
Enjoys rattles and other toys that make sounds. ___yes ___no
Begins to repeat sounds (such as ooh, aah, and ba-ba). ___yes ___no
Becomes scared by a loud voice. ___yes ___no

6 to 10 Months

Responds to his/her own name, telephone ringing, someone´s voice, even when not loud.
___yes ___no
Knows words for common things (cup, shoe) and sayings ("bye-bye"). ___yes ___no
Makes babbling sounds, even when alone. ___yes ___no
Starts to respond to requests such as "come here". ___yes ___no
Looks at things or pictures when someone talks about them. ___yes ___no
10 to 15 Months

Plays with own voice, enjoying the sound and feel of it. ___yes ___no
Points to or looks at familiar objects or people when asked to do so. ___yes ___no
Imitates simple words and sounds; may use a few single words meaningfully. ___yes ___no
Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. ___yes ___no

15 to 18 Months
Follows simple directions, such as "give me the ball". ___yes ___no
Uses words he/she has learned often. ___yes ___no
Uses 2-3 word sentences to talk about things and ask for things. ___yes ___no
Knows 10 to 20 words. ___yes ___no

18 to 24 Months

Understands simple "yes-no" questions (Are you hungry?) ___yes ___no
Understands simple phrases ("in the cup" "on the table") ___yes ___no
Enjoys being read to. ___yes ___no
Points to pictures when asked. ___yes ___no

24 to 36 Months

Understands "not now" and "no more". ___yes ___no
Chooses things by size (big, little). ___yes ___no
Follows simple directions such as "get your shoes" and "drink your milk". ___yes ___no
Understands many action words (run, jump). ___yes ___no

Talk To Your Doctor If You Think Your Child Has A Hearing Problem.
Here are some more "yes" or "no" questions to help you talk to your doctor.
  1. Do others in the family, including brothers and sisters, have a hearing problem? ___yes ___no
  2. The child´s mother had medical problems in pregnancy or delivery (serious illness or injury, drugs or medications). ___yes ___no
  3. The baby was born early (premature). ___yes ___no
    Weight at birth: _______
  4. The baby had physical problems at birth. ___yes ___no
  5. The child rubs or pulls on ear(s) often. ___yes ___no
  6. The child had scarlet fever. ___yes ___no
  7. The child had meningitis. ___yes ___no
  8. The child had _____ ear infections in the past year.
  9. The child has colds, allergies, and ear infections, once a month ____ more often ____ .
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) provides information and resources for health professionals, patients, industry, and the public. To obtain information, requests may be mailed to the NIDCD Information Clearinghouse, 1 Communication Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892-3456. To speak with an information specialist, call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time at 1-800-241-1044 (voice) or 1-800-241-1055 (TTY). You may also contact the Clearinghouse by fax 301-907-8830 or e-mail nidcd@aerie.com.