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Why is it important to have newborns screened for their hearing ability?
answered:Trang Rogers, AuD
According to the National Institutes of Health, three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. In addition, more children will lose their hearing ability later during childhood. As the first three years of life are one of the most critical time periods for speech and language development, cognitive development, and development of auditory nerve pathways, newborn hearing screenings are imperative for early intervention. Early intervention will enable children to learn to communicate comparably with his or her hearing peers and not fall behind in cognitive and social skills.
The state of Montana instructs the Department of Health to implement a newborn hearing screening program to test each child within the first month of life. Bozeman Deaconess Hospital completes the newborn hearing screenings prior to discharge from the hospital. Those who fail the initial hearing screenings are followed up by their pediatricians and then sent for further evaluation by an audiologist. The follow-up evaluations should be completed within three months of birth to ensure early intervention if necessary.
For more information or to schedule a hearing screening for your newborn or young child, you may call Bozeman Deaconess Audiology at 587-5000.
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