Relevant Factors in the Identification of Hearing Loss
This study examined factors which may affect early identification of hearing loss. The medical records of 123 children with educationally significant hearing impairment were examined. Information about each child's degree and type of hearing loss, etiology, referral source, birth and medical history, additional handicaps, age of suspicion of loss, mode of identification, age of identification, and age at which aided was entered into a database for further analysis. The age range for identification was 7 weeks to 10 yr, with a median age of 2.1 yr. Children with a greater degree of hearing loss, an additional handicap, additional medical conditions, or an etiology strongly associated with hearing loss were identified earlier than those without these factors. Unexpectedly, children with a history of middle ear dysfunction were identified no later than those without, and children with a positive family history of hearing loss were identified later than those with a negative family history. These results agree with other studies which show that, in general, children are identified and habilitated at a later age than that recommended by both the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Committee and the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing.