My baby passed the newborn hearing screening at the hospital or soon after delivery.

Monitor your child’s speech and language development. If there is any concern he/she is not developing language normally, hearing should be tested.

Some children are at risk for late onset hearing loss even though they passed the newborn hearing screening in the hospital. Those risk factors include:

  • A family member developed hearing loss in childhood.
  • The birth mother had an infection during the pregnancy, such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV), rubella, syphilis, herpes or toxoplasmosis.
  • The child was in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for greater than five days.
  • The newborn had physical findings such as ear tags, abnormally shaped, or low set ears.
  • A physician diagnosed a syndrome associated with hearing loss, such as Down syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome, etc.
  • The child experienced head trauma.

If your child has any of these risk factors, schedule a follow-up behavioral hearing test with an audiologist. Testing should be done by 6-12 months of age. If you need help finding an audiologist, call your pediatrician or Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Missouri Newborn Hearing Screening Program at 573-751-6266.

My baby did not pass the final newborn hearing screening in the hospital or soon after delivery.

Complete diagnostic hearing testing should be done by an audiologist as early as possible, ideally by one - three months of age. The earlier a hearing loss is found the better it is for your baby’s development.

Testing can be done at any age, while your baby sleeps. Auditory brainstem response testing (ABR) is a noninvasive test that puts sound in your baby’s ear with a tiny earphone and the brainwaves are measured in response to that sound to determine how well your baby hears.

If you don’t already have an appointment, contact your pediatrician or the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Missouri Newborn Hearing Screening Program at 573-751-6266 to determine where you can obtain testing.

Parents are responsible to schedule and attend follow-up hearing testing appointments.

My baby did not pass the newborn hearing screening, had additional testing by an audiologist, and was confirmed with hearing loss.

Schedule your baby to receive assistance as early as possible. Intervention may include evaluation for hearing aids and enrollment in a birth to 3 years old program for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Early intervention is crucial regardless of the communication mode (listening and spoken language, sign language, etc.) you choose for your child.

Enroll in Missouri First Steps (Select “Refer a child.” Next, select “Parent.” Missouri First Steps will respond quickly to your request.)

A Missouri First Steps service coordinator can help you find early intervention specialists who meet the needs of your family. Early intervention specialists show parents how to foster communication through every day activities. They will monitor your child’s progress to make sure he/she is on track with the family’s goals.

Have your baby evaluated by other specialists for problems related to hearing loss. These include an ear, nose and throat physician (ENT), an ophthalmologist (eye doctor), cardiologist (heart doctor) and a geneticist.