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Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

For Parents

Performing a hearing screening on your baby is an important first step in ensuring your child's speech and language development. The hearing screening is easy and painless, and can identify whether more testing is needed. In fact, babies often are asleep while being screened. It takes very little time, usually only a few minutes.
All infants should be screened for hearing loss no later than 1 month of age, and it is best if they are screened before leaving the hospital. If the baby does not pass this hearing screening, it's very important to make an appointment for a full hearing test and any needed medical tests no later than 3 months of age.

All infants should be screened for hearing loss no later than one month of age. If the baby does not pass this hearing screening, it is very important to make an appointment for a full hearing test and any needed medical tests no later than three months of age.

A professional trained to test hearing loss, such as an audiologist or an ear, nose, and throat doctor will be able to perform these tests. The baby's doctor should perform or order any needed medical tests to find out the cause of the hearing loss. Because a newborn baby can pass the hearing screening and still develop a hearing loss, the baby's doctor should routinely follow the baby's general health, development, and well-being.

Early Intervention/Family Services
Early Intervention is a coordinated and comprehensive system of programs, services, and resources that are designed to meet the physical, intellectual, language, speech, social and emotional needs of children from birth to three years who have been identified as having a developmental delay or who are at risk for developing a delay.

Early Intervention services provide families with the information and support they need to maximize their child?s overall development. Early Intervention services from qualified, experienced professionals can help you understand your child?s hearing loss. You will learn about your child?s strengths and needs and ways to help your child develop. You will discover that you and your family play an important role in your child?s development. You are your child's teacher. You are the "expert" on your child. The choices you make will be yours and they will be made with confidence because they will be informed decisions.

Guide By Your Side
Guide By Your Side is a Hands & Voices program that matches trained parent guides with families who have recently found out their child has a hearing loss.
Parent guides, who also have a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, provide unbiased support to families, helping each family make decisions that are right for their child. Through direct peer connections, guides promote self-efficacy and reduce isolation by exploring common bond, shared experiences, wisdom and insight.

CaCoon (CAre COordinatiON) is a public health nurse home visiting program for families who have children with special health needs. This program, sponsored by CDRC at OHSU, provides support for families in your community by helping parents find resources and helping coordinate services.

The CaCoon nurse can help you in the following ways:

  • The nurse can help you obtain information about evaluations your baby will need to confirm a possible hearing loss.
  • If your child does have a hearing loss, the nurse can give you information about services in your community such as early intervention.
  • The nurse can provide information about financial resources such as the Oregon Health Plan and Social Security (SSI).
  • The nurse can provide information about hearing loss. She can also help you with any questions about other health conditions that your child may have.

If you would like to talk with a CaCoon nurse, call your county health department and ask to speak with the CaCoon nurse.

For more information, visit

Babies First!
Babies First! is Oregon's public health nurse home visiting program for children at risk for poor health and development outcomes. The objective of Babies First! is to identify children who have conditions associated with poor health outcomes, and then to improve the health outcomes of these vulnerable children through prevention and early identification of problems.

Each county uses the public health nursing services related to Babies First! according to the unique needs of their communities. Babies First! was implemented in July, 1990, with a phase-in of all county health departments over a two-year period. Today they work closely with partner services and programs, such as Early Intervention and Healthy Start, to offer the children and families served a comprehensive, coordinated set of services to improve the quality of their lives as part of Oregon’s Early Childhood System of Services and Supports.

For more information, visit Babies First!.

Oregon EHDI Loaner Hearing Aid Program
The Oregon EHDI Loaner Hearing Aid Program is open to children under age 3 whose hearing loss is confirmed by an audiologist. The program lends out hearing aids for up to six months. The initial loan period can be extended for an additional three months in certain circumstances.

To qualify, families must be residents of Oregon and be in the process of securing permanent hearing aids through insurance or other means. Parents can apply for hearing aids by completing an application form. The child's audiologist must complete a portion of the application. The Loaner Hearing Aid Program currently has 60 hearing aids to loan to eligible children. 
For more information about this program, call 971-673-2433.