When a child consistently has ear infections or fluid in the ears, it makes it difficult to hear sounds and words accurately. If you plug your ears with your fingers, you can appreciate the muffled quality of speech your child is experiencing. Recurrent ear infections often occur before age 3, when a child is learning to speak. It is crucial to keep follow-up appointments with your pediatrician or pediatric otolayngologist (ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) physician) to make sure the ears have been cleared of fluid after a course of antibiotics. In addition, periodically have your child’s hearing formally tested in a sound proof booth with an audiologist. More information and tips regarding communicating with your child when he/she has an ear infection can be found on the blog Ear Infections and Language Development.