Did you know that May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) courtesy of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)?
It’s not something I’ve really talked about too much, but in the first few months after our Molly was diagnosed with Down syndrome, we went through our fair share of hearing tests. Her ear canals were so small that it made getting a good hearing test nearly impossible.
Before we left the hospital, we were referred to an audiologist for further evaluation. The team there made us feel at ease and explained the tests in great detail and made sure Molly was in good hands. I had no idea that language and speech played such a large part in proper hearing. After a few months of tests and letting Molly develop further – she ended up passing the tests with no concerns. It was a relief, but looking back it was a great learning experience for us.
Things to Know About Newborn Hearing Screening
- Newborn hearing screening is now considered standard care in the United States, with the vast majority of babies screened for hearing issues within days of birth
- Screenings look for any type of hearing issue that might impact a child’s ability to develop speech and language, because this is a critical period of time for that to happen and that babies have the best chance for typical speech and language development if they are identified with hearing loss early.
- If a parent receives a failed screening in their child, there needs to be further testing in the next few weeks of their life
- If babies don’t pass the rescreen, they should be referred for a full evaluation by an audiologist
- Follow up is critical because babies are designed to listen for the first nine to 12 months of their lives, and then we look for them to have their first words around 12 months of age
- If a child has an undiagnosed hearing issue during this time, they miss the window of opportunity to naturally be hearing and learning the sounds of speech
Learn More About the American Speech-Language-
As a parent, you never know when you’ll need to delve deeper into the world of communication disorders. Learn more about the American Speech-Language Hearing Association on Facebook and follow along on Twitter at @ASHAWeb. You can also find them on Pinterest and even Google+. Also be sure and check out this podcast from Dr. Patti Martin, Director of Audiology and Speech Pathology at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and an ASHA-certified audiologist.
Does your family have a hearing or speech story?
I’d love for you to share it…
** I was compensated to write this post by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own and also include my personal experiences. **