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Hearing loss can happen at any time, and it can lead to delays in a child's ability to learn.
Your child's doctor should routinely ask about speech, language, and auditory developmental signs like the ones below, but it’s a good idea for parents and other caregivers to be watchful. Contact the doctor if you notice any of these red flags:
Warning signs: 12 to 18 months
- Doesn't enjoy games like patty-cake
- Doesn't recognize the names of familiar people, pets, and objects
- Can't follow simple commands such as "come here"
- Doesn't turn head in response to sounds coming from another room
- Doesn't point to express a desire
- Doesn't imitate simple words
- Doesn't use at least two words
- Doesn't respond to music
- Doesn't babble
- Doesn't point to simple body parts or look at familiar objects when asked
Warning signs: 19 to 24 months
- Doesn't say more than five words
- Can't point to at least two body parts when asked
- Doesn't respond with "yes" or "no" to a question or command
- Can't identify common objects such as "ball" or "cat"
- Doesn't mix babble with some intelligible speech
- Doesn't enjoy being read to
- Doesn't understand "yes" and "no" questions ("Are you ready?")
- Doesn't understand simple phrases ("under the table," "in the box")
Warning signs: 25 to 29 months
- Doesn't respond to two-part commands such as "sit down and drink your milk"
- Can't answer "what" and "who" questions
- Can't form simple two-word sentences such as "I go"
- Isn't interested in simple stories
- Doesn't understand many action words ("run," "walk," "sit")
Warning signs: 30 to 36 months
- Doesn't understand possessive terms such as "mine" and "yours"
- Can't select things by size (such as "big" and "little")
- Doesn't use any plurals or verbs
- Doesn't ask "what" and "why" questions
- Doesn't understand "not now" or "no more"