The birth of a child is a cherished moment in life. In 2015, every newborn receives many different screening tests in the hospital, including one for hearing loss. If a child does not pass the newborn hearing screening, it does not mean that she has hearing loss. It is vital for parents to obtain follow-up testing, where most babies are found not to have hearing loss.

Grief, shock and denial

Receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss is a difficult moment for many parents who fear that their child will have significant communication difficulties. Grief, shock and denial are common and normal emotions for parents as they navigate from a diagnosis or hearing loss to a plan of action for their child.

"Early detection of hearing loss and proper amplification are of vital importance for children with hearing loss to give them the ability to access speech during critical language development periods."

Parents should seek highly qualified and certified professionals for their child with hearing loss. Otolaryngologists and audiologists diagnose the type and severity of the hearing loss and provide children with technology needed to access sounds, including the sound of your voice.

Overcoming obstacles

Early detection of hearing loss and proper amplification are of vital importance for children with hearing loss to give them the ability to access speech during critical language development periods. Hearing aids, and even cochlear implants, are options to improve hearing for children with hearing loss. When children are identified early and receive appropriate intervention, they can develop language abilities on par with their peers by the time they enter school.

Parents should choose a communication approach that is right for their child and family, and there are a range of options such as listening and spoken language. We have great reason to be optimistic about children born with hearing loss today. For these children, the possibilities are endless.