Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (LA EHDI)
Approximately 100 babies in Louisiana are identified as deaf or hard of hearing each year. The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) process helps to ensure that all families of deaf or hard of hearing children receive the support they need to help their children learn, grow and thrive. Identifying babies as early as possible through newborn hearing screening is important to prevent developmental delays. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing should receive early intervention services as soon as possible – at least before a baby is 6 months old, but earlier is better – in order to develop communication and language skills similar to their peers.
It takes a team of healthcare professionals to get a child through the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) process, from the initial screening to enrollment in early intervention services. Birthing facilities, pediatricians, and audiologists play different roles in this process, but share a common goal of ensuring that all children who are deaf or hard of hearing can develop essential language skills and communicate effectively. It is important to tell parents that continuous interaction and communication are critical to their child meeting developmental milestones. Both verbal and non-verbal communication will help parents bond with their baby and lay the groundwork for the baby’s language and communication skills.
Audiologists are required to report the following:
- Initial results from all infant newborn hearing screenings, regardless of whether the baby passed or needed additional testing.
- Rescreening and/or diagnostic testing results on all infants who needed follow-up testing, regardless of whether the baby passed or needed additional testing.
- All results on any child (ages birth to 5 years old) identified with a hearing loss for the first time.
- All results on any child (ages birth to 5 years old) fitted with a hearing aid or cochlear implant for the first time.
- Every child that is considered lost to follow-up. Report information on any child who did not appear for their rescreening or diagnostic testing appointments and who is now considered to be lost to follow-up for your facility.
Testing results should be reported on the EHDI Follow-up Services Report (FSR) Form. This form should be faxed to 504-568-5854, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or entered into the LA EHDI-IS Database within 7 days.