Although newborn hearing screening is very effective at detecting hearing loss at birth, if there are any concerns that you feel that your child may not be able to hear you should follow your instincts and have this checked. (Maternal concern is the most accurate indicator that a child may not be able to hear)
Infants ( 0-12 months)
It can be difficult to know whether young babies and infants can hear.
0 -4 months should startle to loud noise, calm down on hearing their parents voice
4 - 7 months babies should be able to look towards sounds and will notice changes in their parents voices. They will also have started to babble
7 - 12 months babies will turn their head to sounds, babble and imitate different speech sounds and appear to listen
12 - 24 months follows simple commands, can point to objects that are named, can put 2-3 words together
For older children although there may be clear signs that a child does not respond to being called, this is not always obvious. However, there are other more subtle indications that a child with glue ear is having issues with their hearing:
children may prefer one-to-one company and avoid large groups of other children where they have trouble hearing in background noise. This can be particularly noted at birthday parties, where children with glue ear tend to prefer to shy away from the noisy environment.
some children will find that loud noises are uncomfortable
others may also have a tendency to “lose it” without any obvious reason, as they are working hard to try and hear
younger children with glue ear may not have clear articulation. This is particularly notable with some consonants and they may miss the beginnings and ends of words.
the hearing loss associated with glue ear is usually in the low frequency sounds and be apparent when children are unable to hear their fathers as clearly as their mothers
The most common reason for parents bringing their children for a hearing assessment is because of concerns about their speech.
It should be noted that there is a lot of variation in the age at which children learn to speak - at about 2 years children should have 20-30 words, and by 3 they should be able to formulate simple sentences. Even this is just a guideline, though, as a number of factors may influence speech progression, including use of more than one language and the presence of older siblings.