South Health District

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention program has changed its name to Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) in an effort to create alignment and maintain continuity with the national program for newborn hearing screening, effective immediately. Rebranding the program to EHDI will facilitate cohesive messaging and create common language across resources for the families of Georgia.

Purpose of Program

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) ensures babies are screened for hearing loss. All babies should be screened for hearing loss before 1 month of age. The screening is typically done before the baby leaves the birthing facility.

What does the program do?

Along with the Newborn Metabolic Screening Program and Children 1st, the EHDI Program maintains and supports a comprehensive, coordinated, statewide screening and referral system. EHDI includes screening for hearing loss in the birthing hospital; referral of those who do not pass the hospital screening for rescreening; for newborns who do not pass the rescreening referral for diagnostic audiological evaluation; and linkage to appropriate intervention for those babies diagnosed with hearing loss. Technical assistance and training about implementing and maintaining a quality newborn hearing screening program to hospitals, primary care physicians, audiologist, early interventionists, and public health staff.

Why is the program important?

The crucial period of language and development is the first year of life. Without newborn screening, hearing loss is typically not identified until two years of age. Screening for all newborns prior to hospital discharge from the hospital or birthing center is essential for the earliest possible identification of hearing loss and, consequently, for language, communication, educational and reading potential to be maximized.

More than half of babies born with hearing problems are otherwise healthy and have no family history of hearing loss. If your baby has hearing loss, you can still help your baby develop language skills. The sooner you act, the better the outcome. Screening for hearing loss as early as possible is important to your baby because:

  • Early screening allows for early treatment, if hearing loss is detected
  • Early treatment can provide earlier sound stimulation for your baby’s brain

EHDI Goals:

  • 1: Infants not passing the initial hearing screening will receive a follow up screen by 1 month of age.
  • 3: Infants not passing the follow up screening will receive a diagnostic Audiological evaluation by 3 months of age.
  • 6: Infants diagnosed with hearing loss are referred to appropriate early intervention services by 6 months of age.

 

CaTina Everett, District EHDI Coordinator

Contact Information:
Local-293-6286
Long Distance 1-800-316-8044
For more information: http://dph.georgia.gov/EHDI

Resource for parents:
Georgia Chapter Hands and Voices
www.gahandsandvoices.org
Contact information: info@gahandsandvoices.org or 678-310-5886

Please click on the link below for a short video from one parent to another.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yjaKFtCYQgM