Being able to hear all speech sounds is important for the development of speech, language, communication skills, and learning. The longer a child has an undiagnosed hearing loss, the more serious the effects on the child's development. Similarly, the earlier the hearing loss is identified and intervention begun, the easier it is for your child to develop speech and language.
Studies have shown that children identified at birth with hearing loss who begin receiving these services before they are 6 months old often develop language (spoken or signed) on a par with their hearing peers.
Hearing rehabilitation is the process of providing training and treatment to deaf and hard of hearing persons to improve their listening and understanding of sounds. This process (also known as auditory or audiologic rehab) can include the use of hearing aids, hearing assistive technologies, and other strategies to support communication.
With infants and children, these services are sometimes called “habilitative” rather than “rehabilitative” because the skill being developed may not be there in the first place.
Hearing habilitation services for children focus on:
To learn more about these services, please visit our Hearing Rehabilitation page.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that ensures that children who have hearing loss receive free, appropriate early intervention programs from birth to age 3 and throughout the school years (ages 3–21).
Early intervention services are designed to:
Learn more about Early Hearing Detection & Intervention.