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About hearing loss and children

In most families using spoken language, children begin to learn language by being exposed to the sounds of people talking from birth. Children with hearing loss are also able to learn language, but may need to be exposed to language in different ways to do so.

This is why hearing screening is important for children at all ages of development. The Minnesota Newborn Screening Program now tests most babies within 24 hours of birth, before they leave the hospital. If the initial test suggests your baby may be deaf or hard of hearing, you will be referred to follow up testing and re-screening. The Minnesota Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program provides many rich resources for parents on this journey.

All parents should keep in mind that hearing loss can occur at any age. If you notice changes in your child’s behavior, your child is not speaking as expected or seems to not follow directions, talk to your doctor. If you have Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, this is a covered visit under the Child and Teen Checkups program.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division provides many helpful resources to families of children with hearing loss, including:

  • Information and referrals to a wide range of resources, through this website and through our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialists
  • Grants to community programs
  • Grants to mental health service providers who serve deaf and hard of hearing children

The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) has a resource page designed for parents, family members, and students who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. It describes organizations, programs and services, and provides links to their websites.

Learn more about childhood hearing loss

Fact sheets

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