Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
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We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
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Behavior Tips: Testing Your Baby's Hearing
Detecting Hearing Loss in Infants and Toddlers
Back in 1993 the National Institute of Health made a
recommendation that all babies have their hearing tested between
birth and three months of age. By 1999, 20 states had
implemented laws encouraging newborn hearing screenings and 12
states passed laws requiring them. Today, 10 years later, 30
states plus Guam, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC provide for the
establishment of mandatory early hearing screening programs.
Seventeen states require specified or all health insurers to
cover the screening and three states (Ohio, Massachusetts and
West Virginia) have laws that specify who will pay for the
screening if the facility is not reimbursed by a third-party
payer and parents are unable to pay.
A number of states have created task forces or advisory
committees on newborn hearing screening. The only states with no
current laws pertaining to newborn hearing screening are:
Alabama, Idaho, North and South Dakota and Washington. Also,
fourteen states allow newborns to be exempt from universal
hearing screening programs if a parent objects to the testing.
Most states have found newborn hearing screening programs to be
cost effective at a rate of about $8-$50 per baby screened.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hearing loss
is one of the most frequently occurring birth defects with
approximately 1-3 infants per 1,000 being born with significant
hearing loss. Hearing loss is even more common in premature
infants and those admitted to the NICU. If hearing loss is
not detected and treated early, it can impede speech, language
and cognitive development. Over time, such a delay can
lead to significant educational costs and learning
difficulties. The National Center for Hearing Assessment and
Management (NCHAM) reports that detecting and treating hearing
loss at birth for one child saves $400,000 in special education
costs by the time that child graduates from high school. NCHAM
data shows that, of the more than 4 million infants born in the
United States in 2005, 93 percent were screened for hearing
loss. (Source: National Conference of States
Even though a child was screened as a newborn, there are
still babies who exhibit hearing impairments later on in infancy
or the toddler years.
What are some ways to determine if your child is hearing
- Birth to three months: Reacts to loud
sounds (may startle), is soothed by the sound of your voice,
looks toward you when you speak, wakes upon hearing loud
voices and/or sounds; smiles in response to someone
speaking, seems to recognize your voice and quiets down if
- Three to six months: Looks around for a
new sound that is made, begins to coo and babble some
consonant-vowel sounds (dadada), shows enjoyment of rattles
and other toys that make noises, may be scared of loud
sounds or voices.
- Six to ten months: Responds to name and
familiar environmental sounds such as the ringing of the
phone or the noise of the vacuum cleaner, babbles a greater
variety of consonant-vowel combinations and begins to repeat
sounds others make.
- Ten to fifteen months: Turns to locate
familiar people when named (where is Mommy?), points to a
familiar toy (where is your ball?) or in a picture book when
asked, says first true words.
- Fifteen months to 2 years: Uses at
least 10-15 consistent words and attempt to repeat new
words, follows simple 1-2 step directions (Get your ball or
get your cup and put it on the table), identifies sounds
with the source (ie. Who is barking? And points to or says
Some of the things that can affect a childï¿½s hearing
- Premature birth
- Family history of hearing problems
- Prenatal exposure to rubella
- Certain types of birth defects
- Problems during birth that may have resulted in a lack of oxygen
to the brain
- Exposure to prolonged, high-decibel noise (airport runways, loud
- Chronic middle-ear inflammation (otitis media), which may cause
scarring in the Eustachian tubes if your child has frequent ear
infections. Children may also have temporary hearing loss during
an ear infection.
However, be aware that 50% of babies with hearing loss had no
known risk factors.
Babies learn to speak by listening and the child who does not
have normal hearing will have delayed speech and language. The
most critical years for the development of language are from
birth to three years of age and the earlier a hearing loss is
discovered the better. If you suspect that your child is not
hearing properly have your baby screened by a trained and
To read about the types of hearing tests used for newborns,
toddlers and older children please visit this link for
Childrenï¿½s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
More Parenting Tips Related to Behavior
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
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