What is the EHDI Program?

EHDI stands for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program

The EHDI Program is a part of the Michigan Department of Community Health and works with hospitals and clinics to identify newborns and infants who have hearing loss. While the hospitals do the hearing screens on the newborns, the EHDI program is working with community providers such as CMU's Audiology Clinic at the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education.

Even if your baby passes the newborn hearing test, hearing can change. A baby can develop a hearing loss after birth because of middle ear infections or fluid in the middle ear (the most common cause of hearing loss in childhood). Family history of hearing loss or illness such as measles, mumps or meningitis can also affect hearing. If your baby has had three or more ear infections, or if you suspect a hearing or speech problem, tell your baby's doctor right away. If further hearing testing is recommended, it is important to make an appointment with an Audiologist.

A complete hearing check is provided by an Audiologist using different hearing tests.

Why is it Important to Have My Child's Hearing Screened?

Without a hearing screen an infant with hearing loss is usually identified later in childhood, usually around 24-30 months of age. Infants learn a great amount during the first months of life even though they will not typically speak their first words until 12 months og age. Identifying hearing loss and providing early intervention improves a child's language development.

What Tests Are Used to Check Hearing?

An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test is performed while the baby is sleeping. It involves placing electrode pads around the infant's head and presenting sounds into the infant's ear through tiny earphones. The equipment computer analyzes the brainwaves.

An Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test is also performed while the baby is sleeping. The test is performed by placing a little cushion in the infant's ear that will present a sound. When the sound reaches the inner ear, the inner ear produces an echo that can be analyzed by the test equipment.

How Can I get Help If I Cannot Afford to Pay for Tests?

If you do not have health insurance or your insurance company does not cover a referral for a hearing evaluation, Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) is a program that may be able to help. For more information, call the CSHCS Family Phone Line at 1-800-359-3722 or visit their webpage at http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2942_4911_35698-15087--,00.html.

If My Child Is Diagnosed with Hearing Loss, How Can I Learn Where To Go For More Help?

Early On (1-800-Early-On or 1-800-327-5966) will be able to work with your family to coordinate professional services that are needed for your infant. Many professionals have dedicated their careers to helping parents and infants with hearing loss. A resource guide, Services For Children Who Are Dear or Hard of Hearing: A Guide to Resources for Families and Providers, can be obtained by calling the Michigan Association of Deaf, Hearing and Speech Services at 1-800-YOUR-EAR.

Please do not hesitate to call our office 989-774-3904 and ask to speak with one of the Audiologists if you have any questions. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the office to reschedule. Failure to not notify the clinic prior to your appointment time may result in problems or delays with rescheduling for this very important test.

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