Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) is a disorder related to nerves that control hearing, the ear and sound. Causes of ANSD are unknown. It poses higher risk of occurrence in babies born prematurely or who have a family history of this condition.
ANSD is a disorder where sound enters the ear normally but doesn’t reach the brain properly or at all. This could be because of damage to the inner row of hair cells or synapses between the inner hair cells and the auditory nerve, or damage to the auditory nerve itself. The brain is unable to understand the sound and differentiate sounds from each other.
Sometimes symptoms of ANSD arise in the initial months and not as newborns. Some of the symptoms to look out for in infants are:
1. Sudden or loud noises do not startle the infant
2. The infant doesn’t turn towards such sounds
3. The baby doesn’t start cooing, babbling or laughing by 8 months
4. The baby isn’t imitating sounds by 12 months
Unfortunately, there is no cure known for ANSD yet. Fortunately, helping children with ANSD develop strong language and communication skills assists them a lot. Sign language helps these children to communicate effectively.