Sunday, June 2, 2019

How To Tell If You Child Has Hearing Difficulties

As parents, we are responsible for the care of the beautiful new humans. From the moment they arrive, we worry about them. Are we doing the right thing with their sleep? Are they getting the right amount to eat? Are they warm enough? Are they sleeping for too long, or not enough? It is never ending!

Then it gets even more complicated when they get poorly. When do you call your doctor? What qualifies as an emergency? How is their eyesight? Can they hear me?

Hearing loss can actually be pretty difficult to notice in children. Older ones might miss the care that they need. Once they have developed speech, you might not be able to tell the difference. However, there are still some basic guidelines that will help you on your quest to uncover if there are any hearing issues.

Of course, there are many things you can do if you do find that your child does have hearing issues. You can contact your doctor and book an appointment for the next steps and follow up information. And spend some time researching hearing aids that deliver realistic sound quality so that they never miss anything ever again.

Photo by kyle smith on Unsplash


If you are finding that your child is turning up the volume on the TV, or the radio more than the rest of the family you might like to ask them why. If they are old enough, it might be that they really just love loud music. But, sometimes, it can be because they simply cannot hear as well as the other members of the family. Once you notice this, see if there is a tendency to do it one more than one or two occasions per week.

If you find that they are regularly speaking at a pretty loud volume themselves. It might be that they cannot hear just how loud they are. If you notice a sudden spike in the volume of their speech, then it is worth heading to the doctors as soon as you can.


This one might be really annoying. In fact, many parents complain that their child is ignoring them and/or asking a million questions. You might find that the continuous stream of ‘what?’ is because they actually didn’t hear you. You can test this out by speaking in an average volume to them throughout a few weeks and see how often they ask you to repeat yourself.

It might be that you are talking to them while they are completing another task, which means they might not hear you. So spend some time on this one.

Your child might often say that they didn’t hear you - which is often confused with ‘you weren’t listening’. The fact is these are different, and if you aren’t careful, then you might find you are accidentally brushing the issues aside assuming that your kiddo is just not listening.


School can pose a difficult problem when hearing issues are present. If your child can’t be sure they are the front of the class, the chances are they will be missing a lot of information. Due to this, grades might begin to fall. The teachers in schools are usually pretty good at being able to distinguish between hearing issues and children who simply aren’t paying attention.

However, if the teacher does ask to speak to you, and you are currently having an inkling that it might be a hearing issue - take the opportunity to ask some more about behaviors. Because children spend so much time in school, it’s easy to miss things. Work with the staff if you can.


There are a few things that you can look out for. Usually, one ear may be worse than the other. Meaning that your child might tilt their head, moving their ‘good ear’ closer to you. When they are little, they might complain that they are unable to hear very well from one ear. It might just be a normal childhood thing like glue ear, but it might be something more serious.

They may lean very close to you when you are talking so that they can fill any gaps in what they hear with what they see. Lip reading is a skill that many people with hearing difficulties use, and can often mask their hearing loss. If you notice this behavior, then have a chat with your child about why they are concentrating so hard on your mouth. It might just be that they are finding it interesting - or it may be that actually, without seeing the shape of your lips when you talk they are missing information.

Hit and Miss

When you are doing your regular daily tasks, do you find sometimes your child seems to hear fine, but if there is any background noise they don’t? It could be that some sounds become muddy to them, and they can no longer pick up what you are saying. It might seem like they’re just not listening at those particular moments, but if it couples up with a few more of the list above, then it might be time to book an appointment.

Gut Feeling

Although parents aren’t typically medical professionals - they have an amazing instinct when it comes to something being not quite right with their children. If you have an inkling that something is going on, that is more than just a lack in attention, even if you can’t put your finger on it just yet then take your child to their doctor and have a chat. Hearing tests are non-invasive, and once you start the process if your child does have any hearing loss, you will have a lot of options to choose from.

Following Up

Once you have a diagnosis, then you can spend some time talking to the school, other parents and any coaches from extra-curricular sports clubs. Making sure that your child will have all of the support that they need. In general, you won’t need to make too many adjustments to the life of your child, in fact, once you know you can simply remember to speak a bit more clearly and encourage them to learn things like lip reading and both of you could learn sign language!

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