Health officials believe the most crucial period for language development is the first year of life. Without newborn hearing screening, hearing loss is typically not identified until two years of age. Hearing sounds helps a baby to learn to talk and communicate. An infant found to have a hearing loss through early screening before six months of age and referred to intervention services has a much better chance of normal language development than does a child whose hearing loss is identified later.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Cobb & Douglas Public Health partner with our local hospitals to provide newborn hearing screening and follow-up for all babies born in Cobb and Douglas County need to be rescreened or missed the initial screen, through the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (EHDI).
The National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program, as well as the Georgia Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Intervention Program, encourage early screening 1 month after birth. Infant between 1 month and 3 months of age can receive a second screen if they did not pass the first. If hearing loss is detected, the infant is referred for diagnostics testing and/or to early intervention services such as Babies Can’t Wait.