All About Hearing on the Central Coast

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Hearing Milestones

The guidelines below are designed to help you determine whether your child has hearing problems. It is important to keep in mind that children reach milestones at different ages. If you are concerned about your child’s hearing please make an appointment.

Birth to 3 months

  • Reacts to loud sounds with startle reflex.
  • Is soothed and quieted by soft sounds.
  • Turns head to you when you speak.
  • Is awakened by loud voices and sounds.
  • Smiles in response to voices when spoken to.
  • Seems to know your voice and quiets down if crying.

3 to 6 months

  • Looks or turns towards a new sound.
  • Responds to “no” and changes in tone of voice.
  • Imitates his or her own voice.
  • Enjoys rattles and other toys which make sounds.
  • Begins to repeat sounds (such as “ooh”, “aah”, and “ba-ba”).
  • Becomes scared by a loud voice or noise.

6 to 10 months

  • Responds to own name, telephone ringing and someone’s voice (even when not loud).
  • Knows words for common things (cup, shoe) and sayings (“bye-bye”).
  • Makes babbling sounds, even when alone.
  • Starts to respond to request such as “come here”.
  • Looks at things or pictures when someone talks about them.

10 to 15 months

  • Plays with own voice, enjoying the sound and feel of it.
  • Points to or looks at familiar objects or people when asked to do so.
  • Imitates simple words and sounds; may use a few single words meaningfully.
  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.
  • Follows one step commands when shown by a gesture.

15 to 18 months

  • Follows simple directions, such as “give me the ball” without being shown.
  • Uses words he or she has heard often.
  • Uses 2 to 3 word sentences to talk about and ask for things.
  • Knows 10 to 20 words.
  • Points to some body parts when asked.

18 to 24 months

  • Understands simple “yes-no” questions (Are you hungry?).
  • Understands simple phrases (“in the cup,” “on the table”).
  • Enjoys being read to.
  • Points to pictures when asked.

24 to 30 months

  • Understands “not now” and “no more”.
  • Chooses things by size (big, little).
  • Follows 2 step commands, such as “get your shoes and come here”.
  • Understands many action words (run, jump).

30 to 36 months

  • Understands uses of objects (“Show me what goes on your foot”).
  • Understands the concept of one and can hand you one of something (1 ball, 1 cookie).
  • Correctly identifies boys and girls.
  • Understands many action words like “run” or “jump”.

3 to 4 years

  • Understands “why” questions (“Why do you wash your hands?”).
  • Understands opposites  like “fast” or “slow”.
  • Correctly selects objects according to colour.

4 to 5 years

  • Understands size comparisons (big, bigger, biggest).
  • Understands many pronouns (“Give it to her”, “Give it to him”).
  • Follows a 2-to-3-step command (“Go to the kitchen, get a cup, put it on the table”).