Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program

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Information for parents and families to help them decide which communication method is best for their deaf of hard of hearing child.

Information for parents and families to consider as they make decisions on how to communicate with their deaf or hard of hearing child.

Children who have cochlear implants rank their quality of life as equal to their normal hearing peers according to research reported in the February 2010 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

Early Intervention consists of services and supports for infants, toddlers, and preschool children who have special needs due to developmental delays or disabilities, such as a hearing loss. Early Intervention also provides support services to families that help them learn how to develop their child's potential.

What is the cost of Early Intervention services?
Early Intervention services and supports are provided at no cost to families.
What services does Early Intervention provide?
The Early Intervention services provided are based on each child's needs with the goal of enhancing the child's growing and learning. These services can include:

• Information on how children develop

• Parent/caregiver education

• Support services and developmental therapies that assist in a child's development

• Ideas for how the family can help their child at home and in the community

• Assistance to early childhood staff with strategies to promote a child's potential if a child is attending an early care or education setting

• Linking families to a variety of community services and supports
Where do families receive Early Intervention services?
Early Intervention supports and services are provided in the child's home and in community settings such as child care center, nursery school, play group, and/or Head Start program.
Who should parents contact to see if their child is eligible for Early Intervention services?
Call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 (or go to for information about Early Intervention services or if you have questions about your child's development and specific disabilities.

Parents may also talk with their family physician or health care provider, school district, intermediate unit, or county Early Intervention program about Early Intervention services.
Additional information can be found in the Early Intervention section of the Resource Center <click here>.

The person performing the hearing screening should give parents the following information in clear, non-technical terms and in the native language of the family:

There are safe, accurate and effective ways to determine how well a child hears at any age. A pediatric audiologist is specially trained and has the proper equipment to provide developmentally appropriate test techniques for infants and children to determine the type and degree of hearing loss.

Your hospital will make every effort to complete the hearing screening before your baby goes home. If your baby did not have a newborn hearing screening, call your hospital to make an appointment. A nurse may call you to remind you that it is important to have the hearing screening.

If you deliver at a birth center, your baby should receive a newborn hearing screening at one of the follow-up appointments. Call the birth center to make an appointment if your baby did not have a newborn hearing screening at one of the follow-up appointments.

Referrals to appropriate medical specialists such as an otolaryngologist and geneticist* may be indicated by the diagnostic audiologic evaluation. * The majority of children with hearing loss have a genetic component even if they do not have a syndrome or dysmorphic features.

Additional medical referrals may need to be made to neurology, cardiology, nephrology and developmental pediatrics. See "What are the risk factors for late-onset and early childhood hearing loss?" for a list of syndromes commonly associated with hearing loss.

A baby who did not pass his/her hearing screening should be referred to a pediatric audiologist for an outpatient follow-up diagnostic evaluation that typically begins with a second hearing screening. It is important that parents understand that this does not necessarily mean their baby has a hearing loss. Information about hearing screening should be provided to parents in a professional and compassionate manner while stressing the importance of prompt and appropriate follow-up. Hearing screenings should be completed before an infant is one month of age and a full diagnostic audiologic evaluation should be completed before 3 months of age.

Your baby needs to have a full diagnostic audiologic evaluation to determine if your baby has a hearing loss and to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. The diagnostic audiologic evaluation should take place before your baby is 3 months old. Your baby's doctor should refer your baby to a pediatric audiologist for this evaluation.

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