INFANTS with hearing loss
Be aware: it is important to be an involved, informed and assertive parent.
Infants as young as one month can be fitted with hearing aids.
How Is Newborn Hearing Screening Testing done?
Today many babies will have their hearing tested before they leave the hospital. The tests are simple and painless and take only a few minutes. Find more information about testing methods.
The FDA approved the cochlear implant for children in 1995 and for 12-month-old babies in 2000. Please see our section on cochlear implants for more information on this procedure.
Children with Hearing Loss
If you need to talk with other parents who have children with hearing loss, we can help put you in touch with each other — Just send us an e-mail with your contact information. You can also attend our monthly chapter meetings to learn more about hearing loss and the resources available to help you and your child. View a list of local chapters and contact information.
Otitis Media – Common Cause Of Hearing Loss In Children
Commonly called middle ear infection, otitis media is one of the most common medical problems of childhood and the chief cause of hearing loss in children. Fortunately, the hearing loss is neither severe, nor is it usually permanent; but such hearing loss may cause delays in development of the child’s language and intellectual skills. Surgical treatment, when necessary, alleviates hearing loss and reduces both the number and the severity of recurrent ear infections. Otitis media may be acute (an episodic infection treated with antibiotics) or it can develop into a chronic type where fluid fills the middle ear and requires surgical therapy.
Common signs of acute otitis media are pain and fever, though older children often have chronic otitis media without these symptoms. Many children develop otitis media with effusion (fluid in the middle ear) after acute otitis media and others have recurrent acute otitis media. The ears clear between episodes. A daily, low-dose antibiotic taken for several months may prevent recurrent episodes. However, the emergence of resistant organisms make this option less desirable. For more complete information on otitis media, click here to visit the website of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington.
Other Online Resources For Parents
Auditory Verbal Training – Website advertising training and consultation for children with hearing loss by Ellen Rhoades.
Deaf Education Options Guide offers links for parents considering different educational options.
HSDC in Seattle offers comprehensive services, including: Early Childhood Learning, Community ASL Classes, Audiology Services, Speech Therapy, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Services, American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting, and an Assistive Technology Store.
Listen & Talk in Seattle is a private, not for profit early intervention program devoted to working with parents who want to teach their children with hearing loss to listen and speak.
Listen up! & Talk it up! has home therapy tips to make every day a learning experience.
Seattle Children’s Hospital – The following Medical/Rehabilitation services at Seattle Children’s Hospital for for children who have been diagnosed as Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind include:
- Hearing Loss Clinic – multidisciplinary team to evaluate children who are deaf or hard of hearing
- DHH program in Department of Psychiatry
- Cochlear Implant Program
- Aural Habilitation
- Diagnostic evaluations
- Amplification/FM systems with loaner program for assistive technology
Washington State Hands and Voices – dedicated to supporting families with children who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing, without a bias towards communication modes. It is a parent-driven, non-profit organization, providing families with resources, networks, and information needed to improve communication and educational outcomes for their children.