Parents have many questions when they first learn that their child has hearing loss. Talk to your child's audiologist, your child's doctor, and other parents who have children with hearing loss.
Finding out your baby has hearing loss at an early age, provides the best opportunity to assist your child's speech and language development. This is important for your child's future learning, social, and emotional well-being.
Special hearing tests are performed by the audiologist (hearing specialist) to determine the type and severity of the hearing loss. If the hearing loss is permanent, hearing aids and speech and language services may be recommended for your baby.
You will be informed of choices for communicating with your baby including total communication, oral communication, and American Sign Language.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that free early intervention programs be offered to babies and children with hearing loss, beginning at the time the child's hearing loss is identified.
The outlook is good for children with hearing loss who begin an early intervention program before the age of 6 months. Research shows these children usually develop language skills on par with those of their hearing peers.