Notice to Readers: Better Hearing and Speech Month --- May 2008
Hearing loss affects one to three of 1,000 live-born
infants annually (1,2). Without intervention at an early
age, hearing loss can delay speech, language, social skills, and academic achievement. Therefore, all infants should be
for hearing loss by age 1 month but preferably before leaving the birth hospital. All states and territories offer
hearing screening for newborns. Any infant who does not pass the hearing screening should have a full hearing evaluation by
age 3 months. If hearing loss is confirmed, the child should be referred for needed medical tests and begin
intervention services by age 6 months (3). Following this 1-, 3-, 6-month plan for these children can maximize communication
and language development (4,5). Information on CDC's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs is available
- Finitzo T, Albright K, O'Neal J. The newborn with hearing loss: detection in the nursery. Pediatrics 1998;102:1452--60.
- Van Naarden K, Decouflé P, Caldwell K. Prevalence and characteristics of children with serious hearing impairment in metropolitan Atlanta,
1991--1993. Pediatrics 1999;103:570--5.
- Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. Year 2007 position statement: principles and guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
programs. Pediatrics 2007;120:898--921.
- Kennedy C, McCann D, Campbell MJ, Kimm L, Thornton R. Universal newborn screening for permanent childhood hearing impairment: an
8-year follow-up of a controlled trial. Lancet 2005;366:660--2.
- Moeller MP. Early intervention and language development in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Pediatrics 2000;106:e43.
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Date last reviewed: 5/1/2008