It’s been a busy morning and I’m preparing for an interview this afternoon. So here’s a short PSA about newborn hearing screenings.
Many hospitals offer a free newborn hearing screening service. Take advantage of it. If your hospital doesn’t or you deliver at home, find a way to get your baby’s hearing checked. Our audiology clinic does it for free.
Why? Because a hearing screening can play a crucial role in making sure your baby develops on time, etc.
Most babies can hear fine. If so, then you’ve got reassurance (of course, hearing loss can happen at any time, but it’s a good start).
Some babies have congenital hearing loss–partial or full. The thing is that this isn’t some kind of hopeless case anymore. There are technologies–hearing aids, surgeries–or deaf child programs that can help your baby get on a good developmental track.
Periodically our clinic gets very sad cases–like twins who are 5 and badly hearing impaired. One is deaf and the other hard of hearing. Their mother is in complete denial. They can’t talk. They’re way behind developmentally because they can’t communicate (except they’ve apparently worked out a way to talk to each other…kind of cool). Neither has ever had their hearing tested.
Maybe hearing aids could have helped. Or cochlear implants. Or simply learning sign language as babies so they can communicate and meet other developmental benchmarks. As it is, these kids are going to have a rough time.
I recently published two pieces on Associated Content concerning hearing screening. The first one explains why you should get your baby’s hearing checked (similar to this). The second concerns when your baby failed the initial hearing screening.
(fair disclosure–AC pays me $1.50 per 1000 visits to my articles. So if you don’t like me, don’t click. And if you do…consider stumbling? )