Even newborns can benefit from assistance at a hearing center. Many parents don’t realize that early intervention can make a huge difference in the child’s life. There are some newborns, infants, and children that are considered at risk for a variety of reasons. If your child has any of these indicators, it is important to bring them to an audiologist as soon as possible. Even if you can’t imagine how they will check a child’s ability to hear, it is possible to determine whether or not there is loss and well as the potential severity.
What does at risk mean?
A child at risk means that he or she has a greater than average chance of having problems that would require a hearing center professional. Most locations have a protocol for dealing with these infants, assessing the risk, and then diagnosing the issue. The goal is early screening and identification to ensure that they get as much help as possible, as early as possible.
Which children are screened?
In the hospital, all newborns and infants are screened, including those that are found to meet the High Risk Criteria set out in 1982 by a joint committee. If the screening does not take place in the hospital, parents are encouraged to have their child screened before the child is one month old. The criteria and risk indicators were updated in 1994 and parents are also given a questionnaire form to fill out to help narrow the risk pool.
If a child is considered to be at risk, he or she may need to be screened several times over the course of the first few years. The initial test is not enough to determine loss. If you believe that your infant needs a screening, contact your local hearing center to see if it is able to accommodate an infant.
What are some of the risk factors?
If there is a family history of childhood loss, this is cause to have more than one hearing center visit for the infant. Also, if there was any type of in utero infection, there is a chance that it could cause abnormalities that lead to loss. Low birth weight, certain types of medications, and even low Apgar scores all cause physicians to take a second look at the child and make sure he or she is tested.
From the time a child is one month old all the way to two years old, there are other risk factors that should be taken into consideration. Many times a parent notices that there is some delay with the child. A mother may not notice that the child is struggling to hear but she may see that there is a delay in speech, learning, or overall development. These are often signs that there is a problem.
If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to hear, make an appointment at your local hearing center for testing and more information. This is an important step in your child’s future.
If you think your child may be at risk, consider making an appointment at a Pensacola FL hearing center to get him or her tested. For more information about treatment possibilities, visit the following: http://www.miracle-ear-pensacola.com.