Questions to ask when your child has been tested and has hearing loss

  1. What do we need to do next (i.e., medical testing and early intervention)? [LEARN MORE]
  2. What questions can I ask the audiologist in order to better understand my child’s hearing loss? [LEARN MORE]
  3. Where can I learn more about hearing loss? [LEARN MORE]
  4. How will the hearing loss affect my child’s speech and language development? [LEARN MORE]
  5. What could have caused my child’s hearing loss? [LEARN MORE]
  6. Who should receive a copy of the test results? [LEARN MORE]
  7. Do you have tips for my family to use when we are communicating with my child at home? [LEARN MORE]

Keep in mind:
  • Medical tests—such as vision; ear, nose, and throat (ENT); and genetics—may be recommended to find the cause of your child’s hearing loss and to make sure there are no other health concerns.
  • If your child is under 3 years of age, you should be referred to the state Early Intervention (Part C) program. You may request this referral, if your audiologist or physician does not make it, or you may contact your state’s Part C Coordinator yourself.
  • If your child is 3 years of age or older, he or she may be eligible for services through the public school system.
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Keep in mind:
  • How much hearing loss does my child have (i.e., What sounds can my child hear and what will he or she not be able to hear?)?
  • What do the test results mean? Please explain any new words (e.g., sensorineural, conductive, mixed, mild, moderate, severe, auditory neuropathy, etc.) in a way that I can understand.
  • Is the hearing loss permanent?
  • Is the hearing loss treatable?
  • Can you tell me if my child’s hearing loss will change or get worse?
  • Do both ears have the same hearing loss?
  • How do I describe the hearing test result to my family and friends?
  • How often should my child’s hearing be tested?
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Keep in mind:
  • You should receive written information so you can learn about your child’s hearing loss, hearing aids, and the decisions you will need to make to help your child develop communication and language skills.
  • You should receive written information about parent support organizations.
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Keep in mind:
  • Hearing is critical to development of speech and language (whether spoken or signed), communication, and learning.
  • The earlier the hearing loss is identified and intervention begins, the better the communication and language outcomes will be for the child.
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Keep in mind:
  • Half of all hearing loss in children is caused by genetic (hereditary) factors.
  • 25% of hearing loss is caused by non-genetic factors, such as illness.
  • In another 25% of hearing loss, the cause is never found.
  • If you do not know the cause of your child’s hearing loss, genetic counseling can be helpful. You can find out if your child might have additional medical needs and/or if you are likely to have other children with hearing loss.
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Keep in mind:
  • The results should be sent to
    • your child’s doctor
    • the state’s newborn hearing screening program (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention or EHDI)
    • with your permission, to your state’s Early Intervention (Part C) or preschool/school-age (Part B) program.
  • You may be asked to sign a release form so that your child’s test results can be shared.
  • Please remind the audiologist to share the results with your child’s doctor, even if the results indicate normal hearing.
  • Always ask for a copy of your child’s hearing test results and store them carefully in a file or binder. This is helpful information for you and your child’s intervention team.
  • Once your child is in school, this information will assist your child’s educational team.
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Keep in mind:
  • Hold your baby close so that he or she can focus on your face.
  • Always position your baby so that he or she can see you.
  • Try to reduce background noises like TV and radio and stay nearby so that your child can hear to the best of his or her ability.
  • Use good lighting. Be sure that the room is not too dark or the lights, too bright. You want your child to see clearly, but you don’t want him or her to squint into the light.
  • Make eye contact often.
  • Imitate the movements and sounds your baby makes, then wait for him or her to repeat them.
  • Work on communicating with your child during activities that you both enjoy.
  • Take time to communicate with your child many times throughout the day.
  • Read to your child often.
  • Set aside some quiet time for you and your child to share; otherwise, your child may become fussy because he or she is overwhelmed by all of the communication!
  • And most important, ENJOY the time you and your child spend together.
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