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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
Little Rock - May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. This month, ADH wants to raise awareness about the importance of newborn screening and language development milestones for children.
Early hearing detection and intervention is key to preventing delays in children learning a language. Children begin learning language as early as two months of age, so it’s imperative that every newborn receive screening before one month of age.
Out of every 1,000 babies born each year, two to three are diagnosed as deaf/hard of hearing (D/HH) and 90% of D/HH children are born to hearing parents. In 2021, 96% of infants born in Arkansas received screening by one month of age. Of those screened, 527 infants did not pass the newborn hearing screen, and 48 were diagnosed with a permanent hearing condition.
Parents should choose a doctor for their baby before birth. Before leaving the hospital, parents should make sure a hearing test is completed. It’s important for the screening to be done by a qualified professional. If the child does not pass the screening, they must receive additional testing from a pediatric audiologist before 3 months of age to reduce risks for delays in learning language.
If you need assistance locating a hearing screening provider in your area, you contact the Infant Hearing Program at 501-280-4740 or visit www.arhealthyhearing.com.