Hearing loss can affect people of all ages. When left untreated, pediatric hearing loss can be especially devastating, as children rely on hearing to develop a number of skills. A study published in the journal of Pediatrics looked to identify if early hearing loss detection had an effect on children’s vocabulary.
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Guidelines
The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program was authorized in 2000 to establish statewide programs throughout the country to identify children born with hearing loss and provide them with early intervention services. Prior to the program’s development, less than 10% of newborns were screened for hearing loss; this resulted in 47% of children who were born with hearing loss to not being diagnosed until age three or later. According to the CDC, 98% of all babies born in the United States are now screened for hearing loss.
There are three key components to the EHDI guidelines:
- Babies are screened for hearing loss no later than one month of age
- Babies who did not pass their initial screening receive a diagnostic hearing test no later than three months of age
- Babies who are diagnosed with hearing loss receive intervention services no later than six months of age
Pediatric Vocabulary Study
A total of 448 children with hearing loss between the ages of 8 to 39 months across 12 states were enrolled in this 2017 study. The primary languages spoken in the children’s homes were English (88%) and Spanish (12%).
The children’s hearing loss was confirmed with diagnostic audiologic testing, and their vocabulary was measured using the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories in their native language.
All 448 children were enrolled in the early intervention program, but only 58% went on to meet all of the guidelines at one, three and six months.
The results of this study indicated that the children who met all three guidelines had better vocabularies than those who did not.
Types of Pediatric Interventions
Receiving the right intervention for your child’s hearing loss is key to their success later in life. There are a number of available intervention options, including:
- Learning new ways to communicate
- Receiving technology to aid in communication
- Taking medications or having surgery to correct hearing loss
- Attending family support groups
To learn more about pediatric hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact Hearing Health Centers today.