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Your child's hearing loss diagnosis is the beginning of your journey into the world of deafness, and it's often a scary one for parents.

Sometimes, medical professionals aren't comfortable with diagnosing a hearing loss until they are entirely sure, leaving families in emotional limbo as they wrestle with the fact that their child may have a sensory disability.

In the video below, Tinsley's mom talks about finding out her daughter was deaf, which took many doctors' visits before Tinsley's deafness was diagnosed:

Even with the best resources and education, diagnosis can be hard. It is not uncommon for children to first get diagnosed with a hearing loss around age 2. This delay means lost valuable time for your child to learn a language.

Some parents, like Molly's mother, have stories of seeking answers for years . . .

Sometimes families overlook or excuse signs of hearing loss in their children, which causes delays in identification and intervention.

Sometimes parents have no previous understanding of developmental milestones, or have difficulty accessing medical or early intervention services. There may be language barriers, financial concerns, cultural norms, and denial.

Sometimes, parents aren't ready to face the reality that their baby has a disability. It is entirely normal and expected for parents to grieve the loss of their imagined, perfect child.

Here are some d/Deaf adults reflecting on their path to diagnosis:

Child experts agree that early identification of hearing loss and early intervention service engagement dramatically increases a deaf child's chance at success AND helps reduce
parental stress.

If you're not sure about what behaviors your child should be showing by certain ages with audiologically normal hearing, the graphic below should help.

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