Vision, Hearing, and Speech Overview
Vision, hearing, and speech are an important part of your child's life. When an infant is born, his or her eyesight is immature. The infant later develops the ability to focus. Hearing appears early as a baby develops in the mother’s uterus. Hearing is needed for proper speech and language development. Monitoring your child's ability to see, hear, and speak is an important part of your growing child’s health.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have recommended the following vision screening stages:
Newborn. All newborns are examined in the nursery for eye infections and other eye disorders, such as glaucoma.
6 months. Infant visual screenings should be done during well-baby visits, particularly checking for how the eyes work together.
3 to 4 years. Formal visual acuity tests and the complete eye exam should be done.
5 years and older. Annual visual screening tests and eye exams should be done.
Children develop speech, language, and hearing skills at different ages. But hearing loss can lead to delays in your child's ability to make sounds, learn to speak, and communicate. The AAP recommends hearing screening for all newborns before they leave the hospital. Talk with your child's healthcare provider if you're concerned about your child's hearing or speech, or if you notice any of the following:
No response to sound at any age
Infant doesn't move or jump when a loud sound is made
No babbling by the time the infant is 9 months old
No words spoken by age 18 to 24 months
Doesn't follow simple commands by age 2
Poor voice quality at any age