Hearing milestones for preschoolers
With the new school year fast approaching, parents of all grade levels are now in the process of ensuring that all last-minute preparations are taken care of for their school-aged children. Likewise, parents of preschoolers are also bustling around ensuring that their little ones are ready to begin the new school year.
Good hearing is critical to good speech and language development, excellence in communication, and success in learning. A child who suffers from listening difficulties due to untreated hearing loss or auditory processing problems, often will continue to experience the ill effects of hearing loss and auditory processing problems throughout his/her lifetime. These include:
• A delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills.
• A language deficit that results in learning delays, causing reduced academic achievement throughout the child’s school years.
• A communication deficiency that often leads to social isolation and poor self-esteem.
• A reduction in the vocational choices available to the child following the completion of high school.
The earlier in a child’s life the hearing loss occurs, the more serious the effects on his/her development. Likewise, the sooner the hearing deficit is identified and a management and intervention plan begun, the less serious the ultimate impact of the hearing loss on the child.
The following is a checklist that may help you determine if your child is having difficulty hearing.
Children ages two to three years of age should be able to:
• Speak about 40 to 50 words by age two
• Speak in two to three-word phrases
• Speak so that he can be understood by family members most of the time
• Correctly use spatial concepts like in and on
• Use pronouns like me, I, her and you
• Use words that describe like small, pretty, happy
• Answer simple questions
• Use inflections to ask a question (example, my toy?)
• Use plurals like toys, cars, jumped
• Follow simple instructions — (example, go in the closet and bring your shoes)
• Tell the difference between come, go, in, out, up and down
Children ages three to four years old should be able to:
• Talk about activities that happened at school or during the day
• Converse using four to five sentences at a time
• Speak so that people outside the family understand what he/she is saying
• Answer simple questions like, who, what, where
• Ask questions using when and how
• Say rhyming words, like hat-cat
• Use pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they
• Use some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses
• Speak using sentences with four or more words
• Hear when you call from another room
• Hear the television at the same loudness level as other family members
• Understand words for colors, like red, blue, and green
• Understand words for shapes, like circle and square
• Understand words for family, like brother, grandmother, and aunt
Children ages four to five should be able to:
• Say almost all, if not all, speech sounds in words
• Respond to, what did you say?
• Speak without repeating sounds or words most of the time
• Name and identify letters and numbers
• Use sentences with more than one action word, like jump, play, and get
• Tell a short story
• Carry on a conversation
• Understand word order, like first, next, and last
• Understand words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
• Follow longer directions, like put your shoes on, brush your hair, then pick out a book
• Follow basic classroom instructions, like draw a circle on your paper around something you eat
• Hear and understand most of what is said at home and in school
• For further information on any hearing-related disorder, please contact Dr. Deborah Nubirth, doctor of audiology, in New Providence at Comprehensive Family Medical Clinic, Poinciana Drive at 356-2276 or 677-6627 or 351-7902 in Grand Bahama; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.