Early Intervention for children with permanent hearing loss: Finishing the EHDI revolution

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Volta Review






AG Bell

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The value of identifying permanent hearing loss during the first few months of life and providing effective treatment to ameliorate or even eliminate the negative consequences has been recognized for many decades. Unfortunately, improvements in achieving this goal were very gradual until the early 1990s. At that time, the combination of technological advances in screening and diagnostic equipment and hearing technologies created a revolution in our ability to identify and provide intervention to children with permanent hearing loss during the first few months of life. Evidence continues to accumulate that for those children who are identified early and provided with appropriate hearing technologies and early intervention, dramatic progress is often possible. However, there are many infants and young children who are not yet benefiting from this revolution because timely and appropriate early intervention services are not available in many parts of the country. Part of the reason why so many children are missing out on these benefits is there has not been sufficient coordination between the state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs and the federally sponsored Infant and Toddler programs for which states receive partial funding under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004. This article discusses how the early intervention aspects of EHDI programs could be improved by closer attention to the components required under Part C of eligibility criteria, child-find and referral systems, preservice and inservice personnel development, coverage of hearing aids and public awareness programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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