Hearing Impairment Awareness

This post on “Awareness On Hearing Impairment” has been written by my sis Priya Nayak-Gole, an Audiologist and Speech- Language Pathologist.

Awareness on hearing impairment

Anmol was a bubbly 3-year old, except that he wouldn’t talk. On consultation his pediatrician assured his parents that he would talk some day. Relatives said, it ran in the family and that many of his uncles were late talkers. All was OK till one day his nursery teacher complained that he was not responding to name call and did not seem to be following instructions. She concluded that he either could not hear or was retarded. The distraught parents immediately got his hearing tested and to their utmost dismay, Anmol had profound hearing impairment in both his ears. A year down the line, after being fitted with hearing-aids and intensive speech-language therapy, Anmol speaks a few words though not very clear, and can fairly manage to follow commands in classroom. However the progress could have been much better had he been intervened early. Three vital years of his life were wasted due to lack of awareness.

In case of hearing-impairment, “a stitch in time saves nine” holds utmost significance. An alert parent, family member or neighbor can prevent a lot of misery by early identification of symptoms in children.

Following is a guideline for parents and child health practitioners.

Early response to be looked for:

  1. Birth – 2 months → startling response to loud sounds
  2. 2months – 6months → eye movements to sounds
  3. 6months – 12 months → head turning response to sounds, human voice
  4. > 12 months → child babbles mama…baba… etc.
  5. 1½ years → single meaningful words
  6. 2½ years → 2- word phrases (“mama give”; “give ball”)
  7. 3 years and above → meaningful simple sentences (“mama give ball”)

If the child

    • Has been a high risk baby at birth (e.g. Neonatal jaundice, premature baby, birth asphyxia, prolonged labor, birth trauma or any other observable disorder) or
    • At any point of time, doesn’t respond to sounds or
    • Is delayed in speech-language milestones or
    • An older child (i.e. >5years) has unclear speech,

Contact your nearest ENT surgeon and Audiologist for screening of hearing loss and further rehabilitation if required.

For querries contact,
Mrs.Priya Nayak-Gole (MASLP,Mumbai)
Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist
CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai
Ph. 9892068386

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5 responses to “Hearing Impairment Awareness

  1. that is very useful ..thanks for sharing.. although i wonder how parents couldnt have noticed for 3 years.. i mean children respond when you scream or call out their name or something
    but what do i know
    happy holi!!

  2. very useful and nice post. i once saw a movie where the one parent was blind and the other deaf, so they both were soo scared that their child would have some kinda impairment, they KEPT banging things to see if the child responded or not. (the blind parent would hear the noise and then ask the deaf parent to see if the child moved or not). it was kinda cute.. but i guess i know why now.

    @aditi: may be the parents thought the child was quiet and all who knows? sometimes parents are too scared to admit something can be wrong with their kids, or not informed well so they dont know what to look for. thats why i really appreciate awareness stuff like this..

  3. @ Aditi..ya Choco is rite….truth is difficult to digest at times
    @ Choco..the movie you refer to is “Koshish”..Jaya Bacchan and Sanjeev Kumar

  4. very informative thanx for sharing

  5. aha! i knew i wasnt imagining it – thanks!

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