NEWBORN HEARING SCREENING PROGRAM
The Newborn Hearing Screening Program (NHSP) helps to make sure all babies in Hawaii get their hearing checked. The number of babies born every year with a hearing loss is about 1-6 per 1,000.
Take a look at the NHSP’s brochure Hawaii Newborn Hearing Screening for more information.
Newborn hearing screening is required by Hawaii state law to identify hearing loss as soon as possible so that children can receive timely early intervention services. Babies are screened soon after birth while still in the hospital. Babies who are discharged from the hospital before a hearing screen can be done or who are not born at a hospital can still get a hearing screening done.
The Newborn Hearing Screening Program:
- coordinates hospital hearing screening programs on all islands.
- helps families who did not receive a hearing screening at the hospital to make an appointment to get a hearing screening.
- helps families make appointments for further hearing testing for newborns who do not pass the first screening and who need more testing. This test is called a diagnostic evaluation.
- helps families make appointments for hearing testing for children under three years old who passed the hearing screening as a newborn but later is suspected of having a hearing loss.
- refers families for early intervention services, such as speech and language therapy, and sign-language courses.
- provides information to families, health care providers, early intervention staff, and the public on hearing and hearing loss.
- maintains statewide data on hearing screening results and follow-up.
The first three years of life are very important for learning speech and language. It is during this period that babies learn language, thinking, social, and emotional skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. The sooner a hearing loss is found in a baby, the sooner early intervention can begin to help develop communication skills. See “Can Your Baby Hear?” brochure.
The Hawaii Newborn Hearing Screening Program aims to achieve the national 1-3-6 Plan for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention:
- All babies should have a hearing screening before 1 month of age.
- Babies who do not pass screening should have a diagnostic evaluation by a Pediatric Audiologist before 3 months of age.
- Babies with hearing loss should begin early intervention services before 6 months of age.
BABY HEARS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The NHSP conducts the Baby Hearing Evaluation and Access to Resources and Services (Baby HEARS) Follow-up Project in order to assure that all infants in Hawaii receive appropriate hearing screening, diagnostic hearing evaluation, and early intervention services for hearing loss. An Advisory Committee composed of experts on hearing loss, family advocates, healthcare professionals, hospital representatives, and other stakeholders meets regularly to provide input and guidance for the NHSP. This project is funded through a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Advisory Committee members can access project documents here.
To find out more, contact:
Newborn Hearing Screening Program
741 Sunset Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816