Hearing is a very crucial part of human existence as it correlates with our ability to communicate with each other. We all have heard the words “Deaf & Dumb” – the word Dumb has virtually been removed from the dictionary now since a child can only become dumb if they are born deaf.
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Hearing is essential for speech development. The technology is now available to test the hearing of the baby at birth, which was not there before just like mobile phones were not there 15 years ago! The Hearing test is ideally conducted on a newborn baby before he or she leaves the hospital but can be conducted anytime before the age of 6 to 8 weeks. This test should be conducted for normal and for premature babies.
The most important time for a child to learn a language is in the first three years of life. In fact, children begin learning speech and language in the first few months of life. Research suggests that children with hearing loss and who get help early develop better language skills than those who don’t.
The earlier you know about a child’s hearing loss, the sooner you can make sure your child benefits from strategies that will help him or her learn to successfully communicate.
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Dr Kishore, leading neonatologist and CEO of Cloud nine hospitals,” A newborn hearing test is actually a boon to the modern mankind, where everyone is having one or at the most two children and we expect all of them to live happily ever after!
So it is essential to “normalize” the baby as early as possible especially in this modern world before it is too late. We call it a rule of 1,3,6 meaning ideally the baby should be screened at around 1 month, definitely needs to establish hearing by 3 months and if required interventions before six months, for normal speech to develop..
The test is a non-invasive one and no activity is required from the baby except to be in sound sleep. Often parents have the concern that if their baby has indeed a hearing loss then can it be improved?
The audiologist will guide the parent to help the child in the usage of treatment and intervention devices that are necessary to combat hearing loss. However one needs to remember that if the baby has not passed the hearing test they need to take the referred baby for a more detailed diagnostic test before the right course of action is taken.
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