The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) endorses early detection of, and intervention for infants with hearing loss (early hearing detection and intervention, [EHDI]) through integrated, interdisciplinary state and national systems of universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS), evaluation, and family-centered intervention. The goal of EHDI is to maximize linguistic and communicative competence and literacy development for children who are hard of hearing or deaf. Without appropriate opportunities to learn language, children who are hard of hearing or deaf will fall behind their hearing peers in language, cognition, and social-emotional development. Such delays may result in lower educational and employment levels in adulthood (Gallaudet University Center for Assessment and Demographic Study, 1998). Thus, all infants' hearing should be screened using objective, physiologic measures to identify those with congenital or neonatal onset hearing loss. Audiologic evaluation and medical evaluations should be in progress before 3 months of age. Infants with confirmed hearing...

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