Subject: head shaking and staring at hand
Question: I have an 11 month old granddaughter that was born with a severe/profound hearing loss. Needless to say her development presents huge challenges and concerns. I have noticed that she persistently does a head shake (like she is saying no), but it isn't in response to food,..she will be crawling along and just stop and shake her head,..or sitting in her playpen and will do this. This happens several times a day.
She also repeatedly will stop, hold her left hand up in front of her face and stare at it,..sometimes she will shiver a little when doing this. The pediatrician and early intervention people tell us not to be concerned that children with hearing impairments will do things such as this to compensate for a need for stimulation or because they may be visually over stimulated. Is this true? Should we be concerned?
Is it possible there is something else going on? (I should mention that she was 3 weeks premature and spent two weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit--her mother had been on medication for manic/depressive disorder that resulted in complications for the baby).
Answer: Dear Lee:
I have seen children without hearing loss do the same thing. I think you are worrying too much. Let her be and enjoy her more! Have fun with her and let yourself enjoy being a grandma as you well know you only get these years once!
M Kay Keller