Hearing impairments

Hearing is essential for developing spoken language skills, which can lead to speech and language delays.

All newborn babies are offered a hearing screening assessment. Sometimes there’s an unclear result that requires a follow-up. This doesn’t automatically mean that a child has hearing problems.

Some children may have normal hearing at birth but go on to experience temporary hearing loss (perhaps due to ‘glue ear’, where congestion behind the ear drum prevents the drum moving effectively). More unusually, a small number of children may experience a progressive hearing loss, where hearing may decline over time.

The 9-12 month and 2-2½ year development reviews provide opportunities to meet with a Health Visitor when you can discuss this and other areas of your child’s development. However, if you have concerns about your child’s hearing at any time, you can contact your Health Visitor for advice. They may encourage you to make further observations in different listening situations and if appropriate, refer your child to an Audiologist for assessment.

Follow the links below to read more about your child’s hearing:

National Deaf Children’s Society: Glue Ear

Glue ear is one of the most common childhood illnesses, and occurs when the middle ear becomes filled with sticky fluid. It’s usually temporary and often linked with ear infections, but long-term glue ear can affect children’s hearing and speech development.

National Deaf Children’s Society: deaf awareness information

NHS UK: hearing and vision tests for children

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