A hearing test is an important part of managing your child's health and development. Although in most cases problems with the ability to hear changes over time, most pediatricians will recommend that a child have a screening at least one time per year. Detecting a problem now can make a big difference in a child. Some children who have these types of conditions can develop slower than those who do not. The problem is not one based on mental health, but rather on the lack of ability to hear well enough to communicate properly. Your child may be just fine, but to find out, you need to have the appropriate screenings conducted.
The First Tests
Often times, doctors will recommend having a hearing test when a child is old enough to begin communication with you or the doctors. In general, this process can be done by the family doctor, though a more thorough evaluation may be done through a specialist. For those first tests, you may want to take a deep breath and realize that they will be challenging because children are busy and do not like to sit still. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier for them to handle the process.
– Play a game at home. Put on a pair of headphones and then make small sounds around the child's ears, instructing the child to raise a hand when they hear the sounds. Make it a fun game. By making it a game, it is easier to encourage the child to follow through.
– Talk about the importance of listening to the doctor or nurses conducting the test. It may be hard to keep those headphones on and to keep raising a hand, but by telling a child as young as three how important the test is can help.
– Avoid yelling at them or making them fearful of the process. You do not want to punish them in any way if they can not hear something. You also want to make the end result a positive one no matter what the results say. This is something the child has no control over at all.
Although a hearing test for a very young child can be hard to do, it is still possible. When you need to know if there is a problem and you are unsure if your child will sit for this type of screening, be sure to turn to a specialist that is willing and able to work with children. Having the right provider can make all of the difference in the long run. Take the time to encourage the child to do their best.