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 in fetal development and is necessary for proper progression
of speech and language. Monitoring your child's ability to see, hear, and speak is
an important part of the health of your growing child.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have recommended the following vision screening
Newborn. All newborns are examined in the nursery for eye infections and other eye disorders,
such as glaucoma.
6 months. Visual screening of infants should be performed during the 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 performed.
5 years and older. Annual visual screening tests and eye exams should be performed.
Children develop speech, language, and hearing skills at different ages. However,
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