North Dakota's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (ND EHDI) works to assure infants not passing their birth and outpatient screens receive an audiological evaluation/assessment, audiological follow-up, and family support.
Infants who do not pass the initial birth hearing screen are recommended to return for an outpatient rescreen around the time of the two week well-baby checkup. If the outpatient screen indicates a "refer" (do not pass) outcome, the infant should be seen by a pedatric audiologist for a hearing evaluation and assessment. It is very important for the audiology appointment to occur within the baby's first three months of age or as soon as possible. Several people are available to assist families in making an audiology appointment including screeners, physicians, or local education personnel. It is important to know that delays in identifying a hearing loss can lead to language, social, and overall developmental delays.
Within the ND EHDI data tracking system, once an infant needs to see an audiologist, a referral is made to the Parent Infant Program (PIP). PIP is a home-based program offering family-centered and individualized support to address needs specific to hearing health. Paricipation in the program is free and families may accept or decline PIP services.
Evaluation/Assessment by a Pediatric Audiologist
A pediatric audiologist is able to determine an infant's hearing ability by using advanced technologies. The audiologist will be able to determine if the level of hearing is normal or abnormal; transient (not-permanent), or permanent.
After a diagnosis has been made, a team of people includeing an audiologist, a primary care providers, an ear nose throat (ENT) physician, and a family support professional are able to provide parents with education and a variety of intervention options.
When an infant has been seen by a pediatric audiologist, results are documented in ND EHDI's data system. This gives ND EHDI the ability to track and assure an infant and their family receives follow-up care, education, and support.