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A woman holding a newborn baby

Newborn Hearing Screening

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening

Program Summary

As many as 30 babies are born in Alaska every year with hearing loss. That is why it is important to screen all newborn babies before they leave the hospital. If your baby can’t hear well, he/she may have problems learning to talk. If you find a hearing loss early, your child will have the best chance to learn.

sUniversal newborn hearing screening is a screen that will check if your baby’s hearing is normal or whether more testing is needed. The screen does not hurt and is quick and easy, and will be performed by a trained person. If your birthing facility does not offer newborn hearing screening, ask your health care provider to refer you to a place that does, and /or view the map of birthing hospitals in Alaska currently implementing newborn hearing screening. Please remember that information contained on this map is subject to change.

If your baby refers, or does not pass, the hearing screening in the newborn nursery, it does not mean that he/she definitely has a hearing loss, but that further testing is needed. The additional testing should be performed by a qualified pediatric audiologist, or a hearing loss specialist who works with children, within one month of age. This person will perform the tests to confirm whether or not your baby has a hearing loss.

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If the audiologist confirms that your baby has a hearing loss through specific tests, he/she will refer you to the State of Alaska’s Early Intervention/Infant Learning Program (EI/ILP). The program will work with you and your child to provide support and resources for infants and toddlers with special needs.

To learn more about EI/ILP visit the Early Intervention / Infant Learning Program.