Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN)
- Birth Defects Monitoring and Analysis
- Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
- Follow Along Program (FAP)
- Longitudinal Follow-up for Newborn Screening Conditions
Information and Resources for:
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Permanent childhood hearing loss is identified for about 150 infants born in Minnesota each year, with about 100 additional young children identified after the newborn period each year. Minnesota's Early Intervention program, known as MN Part C Infant and Toddler Intervention Services, supports the development of children from birth up to three years of age with permanent (sensorineural, neural, conductive, mixed) and persistent (conductive) hearing loss in one or both ears.
In partnership with MDH, the Minnesota Department of Education created Guidance on Hearing Loss Eligibility under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This guidance, formerly found on this page, is now housed on the MN Department of Education Part B and Part C Resources webpage. There is also a link to this guidance document on the Minnesota Help Me Grow website, For Professionals resource page, "Diagnosed conditions affecting development."
For more information about the different ways a child who has a hearing loss may be determined eligible for Part C, MN Low Incidence Projects provides the document "Determining Eligibility for Minnesota's IDEA Part C Infant and Toddler Intervention Services for Young Children with Hearing Differences."
Consequences of Hearing Loss:
Hearing loss is associated with a risk of delays in language acquisition, learning, and speech development.
Communication difficulties - Children experience varying degrees of difficulty in receiving the auditory speech and environmental stimuli.
Educational, vocational, psychological and social implications - Hearing loss in young children is known to negatively impact language acquisition, academic achievement, and social/emotional development if intervention is delayed.
Management of Hearing Loss:
Early diagnosis and intervention supports language development and learning. Children whose hearing loss is identified earlier and who receive appropriate early intervention services have significantly larger vocabularies and better receptive and expressive language skills than those whose hearing loss is discovered later. The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) most recent position statement (2019) includes quality indicators for timely enrollment: infants should be enrolled in early intervention no later than 6 months of age, and for children who experienced late-identification or delayed-onset progression in hearing thresholds, enrollment should be within 45 days of the diagnosis.
Families will make numerous choices regarding how they communicate with their child and the types of educational services in which they would like their child to participate. These communication opportunities are on a continuum between auditory ways to communicate (listening and speaking) to visual -only ways to communicate, such as American Sign Language (ASL). Families' choices may change over time as their children grow. Here is CDC’s Decision Guide to Communication Choices.
Common communication opportunities include American Sign Language (ASL), Listening and Spoken Language (Auditory-Oral, Auditory-Verbal) Cued Speech, and Combined Communication Strategies. Here is Minnesota Low Incidence Projects articles for parents about Exploring Communication Opportunities for Children with Hearing Differences.
Conductive or mixed hearing losses resulting from diseases in the outer or middle ear may be treatable through surgery or medication.
Cochlear implantation combines medical and audiological managements to provide direct electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve and allow for the perception of sound.
Regular follow-up with audiology is important to monitor a child's hearing loss and detect any hearing changes early. Amplification. including hearing devices, wireless accessories, cochlear implants or other assistive devices, may be an option.
For More Information
For more information, the following resources might be useful.
- Minnesota Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)
- Hearing: What you need to Know - Resource Binder for Families (PDF)
- Minnesota Hands and Voices at Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. Provides a variety of support services to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. 651-265-2435
- Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division. DHHSD is responsible for creating and delivering a wide range of innovative programs and services to help children and adults who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing, and DHS is committed to helping to find critical resources, assistive technology, information and programs, support services, and mental health services or referrals quickly and efficiently. DHHSD assists with telephone access through Telephone Equipment Distribution Program (TED).
- Voice or your preferred relay service: 651-431-5945 or 800-657-3663
- Videophone: 651-964-1514
- Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
- Refer to Early Intervention and Educational Support through Help Me Grow 1-866-693-4769
- MDE State Specialist Contact: Mary Cashman-Bakken, Mary.Cashman-Bakken@state.mn.us
- State of Minnesota Pediatric Hearing Device Loaner Program. Provides loaner hearing devices to children ages 0 to 18 years. A typical loan period is 6 months, giving families time to decide and secure funds to purchase their own hearing devices or wait for medical interventions.
612-813-7610, Fax: 612-813-6889 or email@example.com
- PACER Center, 952-838-9000 or 1-800-537-2237
- BabyHearing.org - A website for families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- American Academy of Pediatrics - HealthyChildren.org
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) - Hearing Loss in Children.
- National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) Information about implementation of newborn hearing screening programs, early identification of hearing loss and early intervention programs, 435-797-3584.