Pediatric Audiology

Hearing loss in children is a silent, hidden handicap.  This is because children cannot tell us they are not hearing well.  If undetected and untreated, hearing loss in children can lead to delayed speech and language development, social and emotional problems, and academic difficulties.


  • 1 in every 1000 infants born in the U.S. has severe or profound hearing loss.
  • Over 1 million children in the U.S. have a hearing loss
  • 2 children in every 1000 will acquire deafness in early childhood.
  • 1 child in 50 from intensive care nurseries will be hearing impaired.
  • Ear infections are the most common infectious disease of childhood.

Risk Factors for infants age 29 months to 3 years requiring a hearing screening:

  • Parent/Caregiver concern regarding hearing, speech, language, and/or developmental delay
  • Family history of permanent childhood hearing loss
  • Bacterial meningitis and other infections associated with sensorineural hearing loss
  • Recurrent or persistent otitis media with effusion lasting for at least three months
  • Head trauma with loss of consciousness or skull fracture
  • Characteristics associated with a syndrome known to include sensorineural and/or conductive hearing loss
  • In utero infections including cytomegalovirus, herpes, rubella, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis
  • Neonatal indicators such as hyperbilirubinemia and persistent pulmonary hypertension
  • Ototoxic medications and various diuretics


Birth to 3 months:

  • startles to loud sounds
  • increases or decreases in sucking behavior in response to sound
  • quiets or smiles when spoken to
  • makes pleasure sounds as in cooing
  • cries differently for different needs

4-6 months:

  • moves eyes in direction of sound
  • responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • pays attention to music
  • notices toys that make sound
  • babbling sounds more speech like (“bababa”, “mamama”, “dadada”)
  • vocalizes excitement and displeasure

7 months to 1 year:

  • listens when spoken to
  • turns and looks in direction of sound
  • begins to respond to requests
  • imitates different speech sounds
  • uses speech sounds to get attention

1-2 years:

  • can point to a few body parts
  • can follow simple demands
  • will listen to simple stories and songs
  • can point to pictures in books when named
  • vocabulary gets larger each month
  • can put 2 words together

2-3 years:

  • can follow 2 requests
  • understands differences in meaning (big-little, up-down)
  • has a word for most objects
  • uses 2-3 word sentences
  • speech is typically understood by familiar listeners