SEND specialist, Cheryl Bedding, shares possible indicators of hearing and visual impairments that parents can look out for, and offers advice for supporting your child at home
**The information below is not intended as medical advice and is only intended to offer points you may wish to consider, together with signposting for more support. You should consult an appropriate medical professional if you have concerns about your child.
All babies are given a hearing check as standard within the first few weeks after their birth and any early indicators or concerns should be highlighted at this stage.
However, some possible indicators of hearing impairment that new parents may want to be aware of as babies develop could be:
In addition, although the examples below may just be part of normal developmental progress, there are other indicators that could signal hearing difficulties in young children. These can include:
Try to avoid putting any additional pressures on your child with regards to speech, or making a big issue of the situation - albeit difficult to do - until you are aware of more information from your health care provider.
You can help support your child at home while waiting for referrals. Here are a few things you can do:
Definition: any non-correctional vision loss
By eight weeks, babies begin to more easily focus their eyes on objects and faces. For the first two months of life, an infant's eyes are not well coordinated and may appear to wander or to be crossed. This is usually normal.
There are several possible indicators that a child might have a visual impairment. These include:
Older children may also:
If you have concerns with any aspect of your child’s development, it’s always important to speak directly with your health visitor or GP and keep your child’s key person at nursery updated and informed. They will ensure that they work with you and offer any guidance they can to support you and your family.
*Please note that this list is general signposting and is not a specific endorsement or recommendation by Bright Horizons. Should you utilise or download any of these resources, any exchange of data is solely between you and that provider. These resources may be subject to their own terms and conditions and/or privacy notice. (As Bright Horizons has no control of the contents of the external resources, it can assume no responsibility or liability for these resources or the provider’s use of any data you share with them.)