After diagnostic testing shows that your baby has a hearing loss or is at-risk for hearing loss, it is important that conversations begin about intervention options. By intervening early, speech delays can be avoided. Early intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn skills that typically develop during the first three years of life.
Iowa's early intervention system is called Early ACCESS. Early ACCESS works with families to identify child and family needs and coordinate services to meet those needs. Early intervention can make a difference. If you are interested in early intervention, refer to the Iowa Family Support Network's website below. Together, with the help of other parents of children with hearing loss, professionals and your family, you will work towards incorporating your child’s hearing loss into your everyday life.
Learn even more about early intervention:
Meet the Team
If diagnostic testing shows that your baby has a hearing loss, a number of professionals will work together to help your baby and family. Professionals may include the following:
- Pediatric Audiologist - A professional who specializes in testing the hearing of infants and children and recommends hearing aids and other forms of treatment or interventions.
- Pediatrician or Family Practitioner - A doctor who provides health care for infants and children.
- Ear, Nose and Throat Physician - A doctor who specializes in problems of the ear, nose and throat.
- Early ACCESS Service Coordinator – A mediator that works with early intervention programs. They work closely with families to identify their needs and ensure that providers work together to meet those needs.
- Early Intervention Specialist – An educator that specializes in working with infants who have hearing loss.
- Genetics Team - A group of professionals that help counsel on the potential genetic component of hearing loss.
- Speech pathologist - A trained professional that works with individuals who have speech and language difficulties.
All of these professionals will provide support to your family and work together to assist in your baby’s development.
Iowa Family Support Network is Iowa’s referral source for local screening, diagnostic assessment and early intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays. Their staff is dedicated to connecting you to local children’s healthcare providers. You can connect with the Iowa Family Support Network in your area by visiting their website.
Communication decisions vary depending on the child. There are a number of resources for helping your family identify what will work best for your lifestyle.
Communication and Language for Families of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Infants in English and Spanish.
There are a number of ways to connect with families and experience different ways that families communicate on a daily basis.
NCHAM is the national EHDI program and their website has a variety of resources to guide families through the intervention process.