Hearing is vital to help babies grow and learn. But hearing loss affects 2 in every 1,000 healthy babies born, and 1 in every 100 infants who are treated in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Identifying infants who have a hearing loss and providing them with intervention as soon as possible supports their language, social, and learning development, cognitive growth and school skills, and social development. Children with hearing loss who receive early intervention by 6 months of age have language development comparable to with children with no hearing loss.
About the EHDI Program
The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program in Mississippi (EHDI-MS) works with health care providers, including birthing hospitals, midwives, audiologists, otolaryngologists, primary care providers, and early intervention providers to ensure that:
- All infants born in Mississippi receive a hearing screening by 1 month of age;
- Infants are referred for hearing diagnosis by 3 months of age when screening indicates it;
- Infants with confirmed hearing loss receive early intervention services by 6 months of age.
- Infants who are at risk for late onset or progressive hearing loss receive ongoing follow-up to identify any hearing loss that may develop.
A hearing loss can happen when any part of the ear is not working in the usual way. This includes the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, hearing (acoustic) nerve, and auditory system. Most of the children with a hearing loss are born to parents without hearing loss. The goal of the universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) program is to help identify infants who may have a hearing loss as soon as possible. All newborns should have their hearing screened before 1 month of age.
More for Families
For Healthcare Providers
Multiple health care professions are involved in the detection and treating of hearing loss and underlying medical conditions that can lead to hearing loss in infants and toddlers. The following information is for health care providers who conduct hearing screenings, conduct diagnostic evaluations, and provide ongoing follow-up and treatment for hearing loss as well as those who provide primary care and coordinate specialty care for infants and toddlers who have hearing loss.
For Intervention Providers
All children ages birth to 36 months with any degree or type of hearing loss are eligible to receive early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Through the Mississippi First Steps Early Intervention Program, families are provided a Service Coordinator who will assist them in connecting with early intervention providers.
EHDI Advisory Committee
The EHDI Advisory Committee The EHDI-AC consists of physicians, audiologists, educators, parents, and other interested parties who advise the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program on its activities. All meetings and records of the Committee are open to the public.
Data and Reports
The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program sets performance goals, and publishes annual reports of screenings and followups.
MSDH Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program
601-576-7427, or (800) 451-3903
Mississippi State Department of Health
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program
Post Office Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700