Hearing programs (Audiology)

The Northern Health Audiology Program

Providing hearing services for children from birth to leaving high school

Good hearing is essential for speech and language development and plays an important part in a child's social and emotional growth. Recognizing hearing loss early helps to reduce problems and the concerns that most care-givers share.

During the first year of life, your child should:

  • Most newborn infants startle or "jump" to sudden loud noises
  • By 3 months, a baby usually recognizes a care-giver's voice
  • By 6 months, an infant can usually turn his or her eyes or head toward a sound
  • By 12 months, a child can usually imitate some sounds and make a few words, such as "Mam" or "bye-bye."

The newborn hearing screening is part of the BC Early Hearing Program (BCEHP) province-wide screening program to screen hearing for babies born in BC.

As your baby grows into a toddler (between the ages of 1 and 3), signs of a hearing loss may include:

  • Limited, poor or no speech
  • Frequently doesn't notice when being spoken to
  • Difficulty learning

As your child grows beyond the age of five or six, other signs of hearing loss include:

  • Wanting to turn the volume up for radio and TV
  • Does not respond when spoken to in your normal tone and loudness of voice

If you have a concern about your child's hearing, please ask your family physician, public health nurse, or other health professional to refer your child to your local public health audiology (hearing) clinic.

Helpful resources

All Northern Health Audiologists are registered in the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC.