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Pregnancy & ChildbirthWellness & PreventionTreatment & Care

Newborn Hearing Screening Program

The Newborn Hearing Screening Program provides a hearing screening for every infant born at Woman’s Hospital. Each infant’s hearing is screened using OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions). This is a quick, harmless method for screening hearing. The hearing screen is performed by a hearing screening technician who is supervised by a certified audiologist.

The procedure is only a screening and simply determines if another test needs to be performed. About 1 out of every 20 babies needs to be screened a second time. Reasons that a baby requires rescreening include:

  • an ear canal blocked with debris
  • middle ear fluid
  • a possible hearing problem

If a screening is not passed the first time, or a follow-up rescreen is recommended, it is important to reschedule for a follow-up test to obtain more information about your child’s hearing status.

Please refer to the developmental milestone checklist below. Even though a child passes an initial screening you should continue to be aware of the child’s responses to sound. If at any time you have concerns about your child’s hearing ability or speech and language development, or if you need to make an appointment, please call our Therapy department at 924-8450.

Normal Developmental Milestones for Hearing & Speech

0-3 Months

  • Is startled or cries when hears loud, unexpected sounds (e.g., door slamming)
  • Is soothed or quieted by sound of parent’s voice
  • Repeats the same sounds a lot (cooing, going)

4-6 Months

  • Turns head sideways toward sound source (e.g., noisemakers, rattles, voices)
  • Babbling begins to sound speech-like (e.g., “ooh” and “ahh”) with consonant sounds (e.g., p, b, and m)
  • Turns eyes toward you when you call by name
  • Tells you (or motions) when he wants you to do something again

7-10 Months

  • Directly locates sound side to side and indirectly locates sound below him at a loudness level close to conversational speech
  • Stops activity when called
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention

11-12 Months

  • Directly locates sounds side to side and indirectly below him at a loudness level close to soft conversational speech
  • Vocabulary of one to three different words (e.g., mama, daa daa)
  • Begins to respond to requests
  • Recognizes common words (e.g., cup, shoe, juice)

1-2 Years

  • Directly locates sounds side to side, and below and above
  • Can point to familiar pictures when asked
  • Can point to facial body parts when named
  • Responds when called from another room
  • Begins to combine two words (e.g., want cookie, bye-bye)
  • Listens to simple stories, songs and rhymes
  • Follows simple commands and understands questions (e.g., roll the ball, kiss the baby, where’s your shoe)
  • Says more and more words every month