Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

Parents & Families

Learn about hearing loss, find a roadmap for families and a timeline for screenings and diagnostic evaluations here.

Screening and Diagnostic Evaluation Timeline

1 Month Screening

Your baby's hearing can be screened soon after birth and before leaving the hospital. In South Dakota, all of the hospitals that deliver babies on a regular basis have hearing screening equipment. The screening does not hurt, it takes only minutes to screen each ear and the results are immediate. Most babies sleep through the screening. The screening does not confirm a definite hearing loss - rather it determines how the baby is hearing at that time and identifies it further diagnostic evaluations are needed.

If your baby does not pass the first hearing screening, it is important to follow-up with a second screening, called a re-screening. The re-screening should be done before your baby is one month of age. This will ensure that there is not a delay in any further evaluations that may be needed.

3 Month Diagnostic Evaluation

An audiologist determines if a baby has a definite hearing loss. These health care professionals have the background and the appropriate equipment to detect a permanent hearing loss.

Newborn Hearing Loss Risk Factors & Causes


> 50% of all infant hearing loss cases may be attributed to genetics

> Family history of permanent childhood hearing loss

> Syndrome commonly associated with hearing loss (account for 1/3 of genetic cases)


> Contact with certain infections while the mother is pregnant

> Admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)


> Extreme jaundice

> Contact with certain types of medications


>Low birth weight

> Head, face and ear irregularities

Delayed-onset Hearing Loss

> Delayed-onset hearing loss is when a child passes their newborn hearing screening as an infant but develops hearing loss by the age of 3. Delayed-onset hearing loss can happen at any time to a child who was born with a risk factor like those listed above.

6 Month Early Intervention & Beyond

If your baby is found to have a hearing loss you will be referred to professionals that will provide information on services your child may receive.

In South Dakota these referrals should include:

If these referrals were not made for you, or you are unsure if they were made, you may contact these organizations directly using the information linked.

Beyond 6 months of age

Some babies have a hearing loss that is not present at birth. These babies develop a hearing loss as they grow. Track your child's language growth. If you are concerned contact your child's health care provider or educator.

Hearing Differences

  • The auditory system and hearing
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Deaf
  • Deaf Plus
  • Deaf Blind
  • Data & Statistics
    • Genes are responsible for hearing loss among 50% to 60% of children with hearing loss. [Read Article]
    • About 20% of babies with genetic hearing loss have a “syndrome” (for example, Down syndrome or Usher syndrome).
    • Infections during pregnancy in the mother, other environmental causes, and complications after birth are responsible for hearing loss among almost 30% of babies with hearing loss. [Read Article]
    • Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection during pregnancy is a preventable risk factor for hearing loss among children. [Read Summary]
    • 14% of those exposed to CMV during pregnancy develop sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) of some type.
    • About 3% to 5% of those exposed to CMV during pregnancy develop bilateral moderate-to-profound SNHL.
    • A 2005 HealthStyles survey by CDC found that only 14% of female respondents had heard of CMV. [Read Summary]
    • About one in every four children with hearing loss also is born weighing less than 2,500 grams (about 5 1/2 pounds). [Read Summary]
    • According to ongoing tracking in metro Atlanta, the most common developmental disability to co-occur with hearing loss is intellectual disability (23%), followed by cerebral palsy (10%), autism spectrum disorder (7%), and/or vision impairment (5%). [Read Article]

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