We can say that a child is deaf. If he does not speak or say some monosyllables by one-and-half years to 2 years.
Even a intelligent child who has sat, crawled and learnt to play with his toys and feed himself at the right time, any delay in speech beyond 2 years should arouse a suspicion of deafness, and his hearing should be tested.
The parents can easily suspect this earlier, when a child does not turn towards sound. Whenever there is doubt or suspicion, a doctor should be consulted.
With new advances in management, the use of hearing aids and training of deaf children, a great deal can be done to help the child lead a normal life.
The sooner the condition is diagnosed and management begun, the better.
A child may be born deaf, or it may be the result of some conditions after birth.
One of the common form is chronic ear discharge, which should never be neglected.
Deafness may also be inherited if hereditary deafness runs in the families of either parent.