Promising treatment options may help child to hear

Finding out a child is deaf can be very difficult for families, and
deciding what to do can be tough. Although there is no way to restore
natural hearing, promising treatment options may help a child to hear. A variety of causes can lead to hearing loss in infants. Babies born
prematurely are at a higher risk for hearing loss than other infants.
Some infections during pregnancy may lead to hearing problems in babies.
For unknown reasons, the structure of the ear may not develop normally
early in pregnancy.

Although testing can identify some causes of hearing loss, determining
why an individual child has hearing loss is not always possible. Right now, there are few clinical trials designed to treat or cure newborn hearing loss.


Mexico Goes Live with Hyper Connected Health IT Solution to Support Newborn Hearing Screening

The Ministry of Health, and hospitals throughout the state of
Guanajuato, Mexico, have gone live with OZ Systems’ health information
management solutions to provide secure, cloud-based data administration
and case management support for the government’s newborn hearing screening program.

The Guanajuato project is a key milestone advancing Mexico’s Universal
Newborn Hearing Screening Program. It is also a tremendous advance in
data systems interoperability. Even in the United States, many Early
Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs are not connected to
birth registry databases. With the landmark Guanajuato project, when a
baby is registered in their National Database, OZ Systems’ e-Screener
Plus II™ (eSP II™) application receives important demographic
information from hospitals – avoiding manual entry of information,
creating efficiencies, and reducing opportunities for human error or
missed information.

Most importantly, it allows hospital
coordinators to keep track of every baby with hearing loss so they can
be rescreened or referred to a specialist for early intervention,
treatment and follow-up.


Massachusetts Governor Signs Hearing Aid Insurance Mandate

On Tuesday, Gov.
Deval Patrick signed H.B. 52 into law, requiring insurance coverage for
children’s hearing aids. Details about coverage will be specified in the
regulations which will be developed
before the law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The bill was sponsored by
Rep. Sean Garballey and many other legislative supporters, including the
71 original co-sponsors that worked tirelessly on behalf of children
who are deaf and hard of hearing in Massachusetts.
Visit the Massachusetts Hearing Aids for Children Coalition (MassHAFCC) blog for the latest updates.


Parent Infant Financial Aid Program Just Opened!

AG Bell’s 2012
Parent-Infant Financial Aid Program is now accepting applications. The
deadline is Oct. 1, 2012. Information and an application
packet are available on the
AG Bell website
. This program is for families of children from birth
to three years of age who have been diagnosed with a moderate to
profound bilateral hearing loss and who are in pursuit of spoken
language education for their child. Awards are intended
to assist with expenses such as auditory support services,
speech-language therapy, preschool tuition, etc.
Click here
to learn more.


Time Out for Genetics: Heard About Genetic Counseling? What Does it Mean for You, Patients, and Families?

Heard About Genetic Counseling? What Does it Mean for You, Patients, and Families?  This webinar may be of interest to audiologists, given its focus on genetics.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
When: Thursday, August 30
12:00-12:30pm Central
1:00-1:30pm Eastern
11:00-11:30am Mountain
10:00-10:30am Pacific
Karin Dent, MS, LCGC
This educational webinar series is presented by the Genetics in Primary Care Institute (GPCI), a cooperative agreement between the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The objective of this 10-part webinar series is to increase awareness and education regarding the provision of genetic medicine in primary care practice. It is designed for primary care clinicians, pediatricians, pediatric sub-specialists, family physicians, nurse practitioners, genetic counselors, geneticists, and other stakeholders.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. The webinar will begin promptly at the times listed above. Please plan to log in to the webinar 5-10 minutes prior to the start time.

The webinar will be recorded and available online within a week of the live webinar at this link:

The webinar is open to all who are interested. Please disseminate this information widely.

If you have any questions, please contact Lindsay Wilson ( or Natalie Mikat-Stevens (


Taunton mom played key role in getting children’s hearing aid approved by Legislature

A Taunton mom was among a group of advocates who pushed for a children’s
hearing aid bill that was approved last week by the Legislature and is
now under review as Gov. Deval Patrick decides on whether to sign it
into law.

Known as House Bill
No. 52 and titled “An Act to Provide Access to Hearing Aids for
Children,” the bill has been kicked around in the State House for three
legislative sessions. If signed into law, it would mandate that private
health insurers provide coverage for up to $2,000 of the cost of any
single hearing aid for minors up to the age of 21 every 36 months.


U.S. Department of Education Tells States Not to Expect Sequestration Cuts for This School Year

ASHA brings up an important recent memo to state education
chiefs/superintendents, with the U.S. Department of Education indicating
that it WOULD implement sequestration requirements for school year
2013-14. This memo is the Department’s first
official explanation of how it plans to implement automatic spending
cuts required under the Budget Control Act (BCA) and set to go into
effect on January 3, 2013.

If Congress and the President fail
to change the BCA, all federal education programs will be cut next year,
which will also have an indirect impact on all school-based personnel
(e.g., fewer professional development opportunities). Funding for the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will be cut by
approximately $972.5 million for school year 2013–14, which translates
into a $243 million cut to related services, including speech and
hearing services.

For questions about sequestration or cuts to
IDEA, contact Neil Snyder, ASHA’s director of federal advocacy, at or 800-498-2071, ext. 5614.


Meningitis effects harming children

A third of children who survive meningitis will be left with “devastating” long-term conditions, new research suggests.
Sufferers were five times more likely to have a significant hearing impairment, with 2.4% of survivors having bilateral hearing loss which required a cochlear implant.

One in three youngsters who are treated for the disease will suffer
after-effects including mental health problems, epilepsy and learning
difficulties, the study found. Young survivors are five times more
likely to have speech and communication problems, according to research
from University College London (UCL).


A hearing loss problem has knock on effects

In one remote community, figures show more than 94 per cent of children in grades one to three have some form of hearing loss. The community is not, like you might think, in a third world country but in WA’s North West.

It’s a figure which
appals Harvey Coates, a paediatric ENT surgeon who has spent the past
35 years travelling to remote areas to treat a disease which has hit
more than 100,000 people; the majority of them Aboriginal children.