If your child isn’t responding to sounds or speech, what should you do? 

Contact your child’s doctor about your concerns. Ask to be referred to an audiologist, since even slight hearing losses can delay speech and language development. It is important that an audiologist test your child’s hearing because an informal check to see if your child responds to a hand clap, or his/her name in the doctor’s office will not detect slight hearing losses or hearing loss in only one ear.

An audiologist is a specialist trained to test hearing in adults and children. They have the skills and the instruments to identify the type and severity of hearing loss and make the recommendations for your child’s specific needs.  

A hearing screening test doesn’t hurt and it can usually be done quickly and easily during one visit to rule out a hearing loss for your child.

If your child’s hearing screening test suggests a hearing problem, your child will be sent back to his/her doctor to be scheduled for a more in-depth audiological evaluation to find out just how well your child hears.

Your child has a hearing loss, now what?

Your audiologist will explain your child’s hearing loss, its type and degree.

 Some hearing losses can be treated by a doctor; for example ear infections or middle ear fluid.

 Some hearing losses can’t be treated medically. Most of these sensorineural hearing losses can usually be helped with amplification


Studies have shown that early identification and treatment provide the best chance for developing speech and oral language. The earlier the better! The type and degree of your child’s hearing loss will help determine which treatment options are right for your child and you. There are different options for treating hearing loss depending on its type and degree. Your audiologist will discuss the various choices that are available.