What to Do When a Newborn Can’t HearBy Klass, Perri; New York Times, p. D6
Publication Date: May 11, 2010
Article discusses screening for infants to detect and treat hearing loss. Two different technologies for testing hearing in newborn infants are described: otoacoustic emissions, in which a tiny microphone is inserted into the ear of the sleeping newborn to measure echoes from the cochlea when it is stimulated by sound; and automated auditory brainstem response testing, using small sticker electrodes placed on the baby’s head to measure the brain’s response to small sounds. The newborn screening is the first step in the so-called 1-3-6 plan for infants consisting of the initial test by 1 month of age, followed by a diagnostic evaluation of all who fail by 3 months, and getting them into treatment by 6 months of age. Research is cited showing that children who received treatment by 6 months had better speech and language development than those whose hearing loss was identified later. Treatment includes speech and language therapy; counseling and training for parents; and amplification, including hearing aids, if necessary. The article cautions that, as hearing loss can develop at any time in childhood, any concerns about a child’s hearing or speech and language development should be reason for a hearing screening.
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/health/11klass.html?th&emc=th