Vision, Hearing, and Speech Overview
Vision, hearing, and speech are an
important part of your child's life. When a baby is born, their eyesight is immature.
baby later develops the ability to focus. Hearing appears early as a baby develops
mother’s uterus. Hearing is needed for correct speech and language development. Watching
your child's ability to see, hear, and speak is an important part of your growing
The American Academy of
Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) have advised the following vision screening stages:
Newborn. All newborns are examined in the nursery for eye
infections and other eye disorders, such as glaucoma.
Age 6 months. Infant visual screenings should be done
during well-baby visits, particularly checking for how the eyes work together.
Age 3 to 4 years. Formal visual acuity tests and the
complete eye exam should be done.
Age 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 advises hearing screening
for all newborns before they leave the hospital. Talk with your child's healthcare
if you're concerned about your child's hearing or speech, or if you notice any of
No response to sound at any age
Baby doesn't move or jump when a
loud sound is made
No babbling by the time the baby
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