Childhood Development

As parents/caregivers, you are the best person to look for signs of hearing loss.
If hearing loss is detected, our Audiologist will arrange for a referral by the Family Physician to see an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist. Medical clearance is required before fitting hearing aids and or FM systems on children with hearing loss.

Common Indications to look for and reasons to consider hearing evaluation in a child:

-Does not startle or jump to loud sounds
-Does not babble by the age of 3 months
-Does not respond to their name or turn toward sounds by the age of 7 months
-Does not respond to simple requests or try to imitate words by the age of 12 months
-Cannot be understood by most people or responds inconsistently to different sounds
-Often asks for things to be repeated and uses gestures to communicate
-Seem to watch your face closely when you talk and respond with an unrelated answer
-Seem inattentive at home or school
-Prefer the TV, radio or tablet louder than others
-Have had multiple ear infections

These are Typical Development Patterns, if you see too many that do not fit it is worth getting an assessment.


-Reacts to loud sounds
-Calms down or smiles when spoken to
-Recognizes your voice and calms down if crying
-When feeding, starts or stops sucking in response to sound
-Coos and makes pleasure sounds
-Has a special way of crying for different needs
-Smiles when he or she sees you

4 to 6 MONTHS:

-Follows sounds with his or her eyes
-Responds to changes in the tone of your voice
-Notices toys that make sounds
-Pays attention to music
-Babbles in a speech-like way and uses many different sounds, including
sounds that begin with p, b, and m
-Babbles when excited or unhappy
-Makes gurgling sounds when alone or playing
with you


-Enjoys playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
-Turns and looks in the direction of sounds
-Listens when spoken to
-Understands words for common items such as “cup,” “shoe,” or “juice”
-Responds to requests (“Come here”)
-Babbles using long and short groups of sounds (“tata, upup, bibibi”)
-Babbles to get and keep attention
-Communicates using gestures such as waving or holding up arms
-Imitates different speech sounds
-Has one or two words (“Hi,” “dog,” “Dada,” or “Mama”) by first birthday


Knows a few parts of the body and can point to them when asked
-Follows simple commands (“Roll the ball”) and understands simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”)
-Enjoys simple stories, songs, and rhymes
-Points to pictures, when named, in books
-Acquires new words on a regular basis
-Uses some one- or two-word questions (“Where kitty?” or “Go bye-bye?”)
-Puts two words together (“More cookie”)
-Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words

2 to 3 YEARS OLD:

-Has a word for almost everything
-Uses two- or three-word phrases to talk about and ask for things
-Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds
-Speaks in a way that is understood by family members and friends
-Names objects to ask for them or to direct attention to them


-Hears you when you call from another room
-Hears the television or radio at the same sound level as other
family members
-Answers simple “Who?” “What?” “Where?” and “Why?” questions
-Talks about activities at daycare, preschool, or friends’ homes
-Uses sentences with four or more words
-Speaks easily without having to repeat syllables or words


-Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it
-Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school
-Uses sentences that give many details
-Tells stories that stay on topic
-Communicates easily with other children and adults
-Says most sounds correctly except for a few (l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th)
-Uses rhyming words
-Names some letters and numbers
-Uses adult grammar

         -Information from American Speech–Language–Hearing Association.