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Probes and Tips - December 2009 - Share Hearing Screening Results with Your State EHDI Program: Spotlight on Iowa

The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management

This newsletter provides TIPS to enhance your OAE screening and follow-up practices and PROBES about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges. Check out our website for more helpful resources:

December, 2009 issue

Tip of the Month

Share Hearing Screening Results with Your State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program:  Spotlight on Iowa

Early childhood education programs will want to consider how helpful their Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) screening results can potentially be to their State EHDI programs.  When infants do not pass their newborn hearing screening, State EHDI programs often make repeated attempts, sometimes without success, to contact families to urge them to get follow-up screening or diagnostic tests completed.   Migrant/Seasonal, American Indian/Alaska Native and Early Head Start programs are in a powerful position to be able to close the screening loop on some of these children by developing data sharing agreements with their State EHDIs.  This month's newsletter will spotlight Iowa where such data sharing has been put into action. 

As one of the newer states to implement OAE screening in Early Head Start programs, Iowa’s success is due in large part to the initiative of the Iowa Head Start State Collaboration Office developing a supportive relationship with the State EHDI Coordinator.  Through this collaboration, the EHDI program learned more about the hearing screening activities being undertaken within Head Start while Head Start programs learned how their hearing screening results can resolve important questions at the State EHDI level regarding specific infants' current hearing status.  Consequently, the Iowa EHDI program began adding the Head Start hearing screening data to the State EHDI data system with the result that some children lost-to-follow-up from newborn screening have been “rediscovered." Having a more complete database on the prevalence of hearing loss in the early childhood population further informs the development of appropriate systems of intervention and support for children with hearing loss and their families.

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The program began earlier this year with four Early Head Start programs.  Besides the training and equipment provided by the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management with funding by the Office of Head Start,  successful program implementation depends on close relationships with local audiologists. Those relationships are important to ensure individual programs have ongoing technical assistance and referral support for children who are identified for follow-up as a result the screening.  Plans to expand  are underway, especially reaching out to the new Early Head Start programs that have recently been launched through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. 

To find the contact information for the EHDI program in your state, go to:

Probe of the Month

Would you consider sharing your OAE hearing screening data with your State EHDI program?   
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