Your baby’s brain grows at an amazing rate in her first years of life. She fosters these brain connections through her senses, especially vision, hearing and touch. Each time she hears a sound, she responds by turning toward the sound. Her brain is learning to differentiate between the dog barking, the cat’s meow, and your own voice singing a lullaby. Her language develops as baby hears your voice and responds with a coo, a gesture, or even a word. This “listen and respond” turn-taking are the building blocks of your child’s language.
Sometimes, we have concerns about whether or not our babies can hear us. Even though they are still very small, there are valuable resources to guide us. Here is one resource suggested by the Department of Early Learning. It is from the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State. http://www.infanthearing.org/. I hope this link will be helpful in answering questions you may have about your baby’s hearing.
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. What are you doing to raise awareness about communication concerns in children? The NCHAM website, www.infanthearing.org, has two resources posted now:
- Families who are concerned about their child’s hearing often don’t know where to turn for help. Doctors and family resource organizations can help by linking families to these Just in Time resources [PDF]. There is a Spanish version [PDF] as well.
- ASHA-certified audiologist Dr. Patti Martin talks about what to expect from a newborn hearing screening, why it is important, and how to identify the signs of hearing loss within the first year of a child’s life. (This podcast was posted with the permission of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.)
Check the NCHAM Facebook page often throughout the month of May to see resources, materials and information that can help both professionals and families.