Young children use all their senses—especially hearing—to explore their world. Temporary or permanent hearing loss may be present at birth or may follow frequent ear infections, injuries, or disease. Hearing loss can slow language development and lead to other learning problems. In Illinois, the law requires all hospitals to test hearing in newborns. All preschools and licensed child care centers are required to screen children 3 years old or older every year. Parents and teachers also play an important role in identifying children who may need further screening.
Ask your health care provider for a hearing checklist or obtain free information by calling the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at (800) 638-8255.
Ask your child’s health care provider if screening by a trained professional might be needed or ask to speak to your local school district’s hearing consultant.
Early treatment can make a lifelong difference. Research shows that children born with hearing loss usually can begin school with normal language and learning skills if appropriate care is begun by 6 months of age. Treatment can include finding the underlying cause; making environmental changes; and providing training, exercises, hearing aids, or surgery. Treat any hearing loss quickly to avoid hearing-related learning and social problems.December 2015
The opinions, resources, and referrals provided on the IEL Web site are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of medical or legal advice, or of other appropriate services. We encourage you to seek direct local assistance from a qualified professional if necessary before taking action.
The content of the IEL Web site does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Illinois Early Learning Project, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or the Illinois State Board of Education; nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the Illinois Early Learning Project, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or the Illinois State Board of Education.