Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and hearing loss have some similar symptoms. It is important to determine the differences between the two so that you can get your child the appropriate care.
These characteristics, and other factors, can make it difficult for parents and professionals to conclude whether a child is showing signs of ASD or hearing loss. In many instances, children get misdiagnosed, or they get diagnosed later. A later diagnosis prevents the necessary intervention and care that is needed.
When ASD and Hearing Loss Occur at the Same Time
Many children who have ASD, also suffer from hearing loss at the same time. According to the Gallaudet Research Institute, one in 59 children who are deaf or hard of hearing are also found on the autism spectrum.
There are universal newborn hearing screenings and routine screenings provided by schools, which allows more chances of detecting hearing loss at its early stages. ASD has a high chance of going undiagnosed in some children because they have already been diagnosed with hearing loss. Signs of ASD are mistaken as being caused by hearing loss. In other instances, children who are diagnosed with ASD might develop hearing loss, and it could be ignored when healthcare professionals concentrate on treating ASD rather than hearing loss.
Things to expect
Pay attention and take notice of any signs that might suggest that your child has ASD, hearing loss, or symptoms of both. If you believe that your child is not reacting to sounds or properly acquiring speech and language, they may need a hearing test. Based on how mature and developed your child is, there are hearing care professionals who can determine how well they are hearing.
A hearing test that does not involve patient participation might not conclude how your child’s brain processes sound, but it’s a great place to begin so that you can eliminate hearing problems. Hearing loss can begin at any age, even if they passed their latest hearing screening. It’s best to get another hearing test with updated results.
If the results show that your child does not have a hearing problem, your child’s healthcare provider can determine whether other ailments are contributing to ASD.
If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, here are other indications that they should be evaluated for ASD:
Advocate for your child
Getting an accurate diagnosis for your child’s delay in their development is an intricate process. You will need to consult multiple professionals. Inform yourself, be involved in your child’s development, and have a positive outlook to help them.
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