Before bringing the newborn back home, you should carefully get your baby tested for hearing. Since the beginning, the hearing has been one of the most important sources of learning. Babies act according to what they listen to. According to a survey, most infants are healthy to listen to, but some lack this ability and may lose it over time.
Therefore, newborn hearing screening and diagnosis assist in making sure that all the babies who are facing hearing issues or are deaf are identified timely. Then, they become eligible to get early intervention services that can potentially make a huge difference in babies’ later life communication and language development.
Why Newborn Hearing Screening is Important?
The newborn hearing screening is an initial yet crucial step in helping determine if your baby is deaf or faces difficulty in clear hearing. Without this test, it becomes challenging to know when their hearing changes and imparts, whether they lose the ability in the first month or at a later stage.
Babies generally respond to noise by startling or turning their heads toward the sound. For instance, when you ring a bell near them or clap your hands, they will surely turn. However, it does not ensure they are eligible to hear all sounds around them and everything people are uttering.
Babies who are deaf and hard of hearing may hear some sounds but still cannot hear enough to comprehend spoken words. These babies require timely and right support, care, and early intervention services in order to enhance healthy development.
In case hearing status is not figured out, it can have an inverse impact on the communication of the baby and language development skills. Moreover, prolonged hearing loss also impacts the child’s academic activities and social as well as emotional evolvement.
How is Newborn Hearing Screening Done?
The newborn hearing screening test is painless, safe, and the easiest way to figure out whether your baby has hearing issues or hearing loss or not. Anyhow there are two main ways that are potentially used for newborn hearing screening.
The following methods are followed for the purpose.
Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR)
This test is responsible for measuring the responses coming from the inner ear organs, such as the cochlea and the auditory brainstem. It is analyzed as the sound travels up to the brain.
To follow automated auditory brainstem response, the thick electrodes are placed on the baby’s head of the baby, and small earphones are placed in, near, or around the ear of the child to detect hearing loss. Different sounds of altering frequency and pitch are played through the earphones, and electrodes measure whether there is any kind of response coming from the baby’s side. And auditory brainstem.
If the baby has normal hearing it means baby’s ear is fine and the response will be detected. On the contrary, if the baby has notable hearing loss, no response will be registered.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
It is another method used for a detecting baby’s hearing loss. This is hearing screening methods detects the response coming from the inner ear. In order to pass this test, the small-sized earbuds are placed in the ear of a child and are equipped with earphones and microphones.
Different sounds are played through the earbuds, and measure the echo responses coming from the inner ear. If the baby’s ears are normally or a bit of a problem is seen, an echo will be gone back into the baby’s ear canal, which is generally measured with the help of a microphone. On the contrary, if the baby is auditory problem problems, no echo will be witnessed.
Other Warning Signs of Hearing Loss
Your newborn baby is at risk of delayed onset hearing loss in you witness any of the following symptoms:
- The child shares a family history of hearing loss.
- The parents or caregivers have concerns about hearing.
- The baby has a history of jaundice that required immediate blood transfusion.
- The baby had to stay in the NICU for more than five days.
- The baby has chemotherapy or has been treated with an intravenous antibiotic which is considered unfavorable for child’s hearing.
- The baby has received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy.
- These are conditions that some newborn babies go through. It manifolds the chances of developing heart loss suddenly or over time.
When Should be Newborn Hearing Screening Test Done?
If you have the delivery at the hospital, you may be asked for a newborn hearing test before taking the baby home. Otherwise, it is generally done by the healthcare provider or visit within the first week of birth.
You may need to contact your local healthcare provider to arrange a mutually agreed time and place. However, this test is done in the first few weeks of the baby’s arrival, but if you lack the time or face health issues, you can get baby’s hearing test done within three months.
Some healthcare providers often overlook this test. If you are not asked to get this test done, inquire with your healthcare provider or local hearing department to book a slot, or you can also contact the main centers.
How can one Help Children with Hearing loss in Developing Language Skills?
Once the hearing impairment has been diagnosed, it is essential to begin to find the solution at an early stage. Babies with hearing loss are expected to develop many verbal skills that assist them in talking or communicating freely and learning efficiently.
The people with Act for disabilities makes sure that all babies and adults with hearing or other problems have access to the facilities they require to get a good life. Some communities are more empathetic towards such people and actively offer multiple services to back these children.
The baby examining team also provides parents assistance to find the services and approaches to get over the communication barrier. Sometimes, people are referred to speech-language teachers or pathologists who have experience in helping children with hearing problems.
Moreover, the parents are also suggested to talk and communicate with their child often and be updated with the healthcare appointments to bring betterment to the child’s life.
Devices to help Child Hear and Communicate Optimally?
According to the baby’s loss of hearing and communication requirements, some of the tools can prove beneficial to increase his or her talking skills. These tools and devices include:
This tool is designed to wear behind the ear and helps make the surrounding sounds clearer. It is useful for the different extents of hearing loss in babies. An experienced healthcare provider or an audiologist known for treating infants can help you get a hand on the best hearing aid. However, you need to make sure that the tool fits securely as well as properly adjusted.
In case your child is not benefited from a hearing aid, the healthcare provider may suggest getting a hand on the cochlear implants. It is an electronic device designed for providing sound to individuals who face difficulty in hearing or are deaf.
The Cochlear device converts the sound into electrical signals and then transfers them through the unfunctional ear parts to the brain. This is an effective implant that can be placed in the ear of a child of 12 months or maybe a bit younger.
Through proper training, the babies having these implants can easily understand different sounds as well as comprehend speech. Research regarding the devices has shown that children who have gotten these implants developed spoken language skills at a similar rate to normal children. Many audiologists recommend using two implants, one for each ear.
As the child with hearing loss grows. Many devices come in handy. Some devices assist the children in hearing better, while others potentially amplify the one-on-one conversation. These devices also contribute to making communication on the phone or watching television convenient.
Language and Communication Approaches for Children
Deaf babies or facing difficulty in listening can learn to communicate in many different ways. Through the internet, you can search out about communication approaches as well as choices and also inquire your doctor’s team to refer you as the experts in case you are willing to comprehend.
Since language development starts at an early age no matter what mode of communication you’re opting for, you should regularly or carefully engage with the child and start intervention early.
Anyhow, there are some general methods used to assist children with hearing impartment that helps in easy communication and interaction with others, including:
This method strengthens reading, communication, and listening skills via the natural hearing method. The hearing devices mentioned above are also not necessary. The child are encouraged to develop the hearing and responding skills naturally.
It stresses the residual natural hearing compared to the amplification devices and technology to assist babies in developing speech and spoken-language skills. This method also involves the utilization of reading, speech, and natural expressions in the process of communication learning.
It is another beneficial approach. It is an approach to a system of specific hand shapes as well as a placement that represents the vowels and consonants. Moreover, the groups utilized natural lip movement.
American Sign Language
It is a kind of visual and natural language utilized specifically in the deaf community of America. It is a beneficial approach to encourage effective communication by the people who cannot listen.
This method includes the aspects of different approaches. It also includes the aspects of the above-mentioned approaches to expose children who cannot hear fully or partially to many useful ways to talk with others.
Can an Auditory-Imparted Child be Successful in Academics?
Similar to many individuals, children who cannot hear properly can get good grades and maintain astonishing academic, social, and emotional records and skills. Yes! They can be as successful as the other students in the school.
Nonetheless, you need to search before how a school system benefits such children. With your worthy contribution, the children’s school will design an Individual Program for education or other service plans. You can also ask if the audiologist is available in the school or if he is part of an academic team.
Furthermore, you can explore the programs outside the school that can help you as well as your specially-abled child. You can also take guidance from the parents who have already gone through that phase.
There are many rules and acts that have been developed to make sure every student is being treated equally. Therefore, you do not need to worry about your academic career. If your child is ready to take on challenges, he will get all the support to be a bright student in the respective field.
Like other tests, newborn hearing screening should also be included in mandatory examinations. Hearing is an ability that is visible at a later age, and if you do not get it tested, you might not be able to know if your child has hearing problems and lead to permanent hearing loss. due to lack of test, you cannot avoid risk factors.
These are important tests that will make sure your child has healthy hearing. On the contrary, if he is facing any issue, he will be treated timely to help them have a normal life.
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