Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (EHDI)

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (EHDI)

Iowa's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program works to ensure that all newborns and toddlers with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and provided with timely and appropriate audiological, educational, medical intervention and family support. The EHDI program is also dedicated to providing unbiased support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Studies show that children who have a hearing loss can have delays in speech, language, cognitive development (thinking) and social and emotional development. If identification of hearing loss does not happen until after six months of age, a child's language skills at age three will be about half those of a child with normal hearing.

Given the serious ramifications of late identification of hearing loss, it is important to perform newborn hearing screening and as soon as possible make diagnostic referrals for infants who do not pass the screening. Because of this, the Iowa legislature passed a law (Iowa Code section 135.131) which requires universal hearing screening of all newborns and infants in Iowa. The law further provides that any birthing hospital, birth center, physician, any facility including Area Education Agencies (AEAs), audiologists and other health care professional are legally required to report to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) the results of a hearing screen, re-screen, or diagnostic assessment for any child under three years of age.

IA AAP has devoted financial resources and staff time to support IA AAP members in meeting EHDI goals. IA AAP also received a grant in 2012 to provide resources and training to Iowa pediatricians on EHDI screen.

Iowa AAP and Iowa’s EHDI program collaborated to develop a toolkit to give physicians, birth hospitals and other professionals easy access resources about hearing health. Both of these agencies are committed to ensuring that all children with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and provided with timely and appropriate audiological, educational, and medical intervention, and family support.

Included in the toolkits are: brochures from Early ACCESS (in English and Spanish), Hands & Voices and Guide By Your Side; posters “We have ears so we can hear!” provided by National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM); “1-3-6” provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and additional resources listed below.

Resources are available by calling EHDI at 1-800-383-3826. For more information, please contact Tammy O'Hollearn.