San Ramon Regional Medical Center tests newborn babies for hearing impairments prior to leaving the hospital. Hearing impairment is one of the most common disabilities at birth, which may affect language development.
According to Joseph B. Roberson, Jr., M.D., otologist:
"For children not screened for hearing loss at birth, the average age of identification is around 2-1/2 years, well after the most critical period for language development has passed. Many people do not realize that hearing aids and therapy are available for infants as soon as they are a few weeks old.
With a (universal) newborn hearing screening program, we can identify the many needs of children born with hearing loss and extend help to their families with this information. Having identified those infants who are hearing impaired, we can provide the appropriate medical, audiological and educational follow-up to give these newborns the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. This is a valuable program, one we are proud to implement for all newborns.
Research shows that infants identified with hearing impairment at birth have a greater opportunity to develop within the normal range of language comprehension, verbal expression, and psychosocial development than do children identified later.
San Ramon Regional Medical Center uses the ALGO™ Newborn Hearing Screener which tests the baby's entire hearing pathway, from the ear to the brain stem. The hearing screener utilizes auditory brain stem response technology, which records the baby's brainwave responses to a series of soft clicks and compares them to a pattern of normal responses. The testing is conducted while the baby sleeps and is non-invasive. Parents have the results prior to discharge from the hospital.
Questions? Contact Us to request additional information or call our infant hearing screening program coordinator at 925.275.8364.
The following links are provided as resources of additional information: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Information & Resource Center Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Fact Sheet (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) Information for Parents: Facts About Hearing and Learning