Early Hearing Program
The BC Early Hearing Program (BCEHP) is a province-wide program for early hearing screening and intervention announced by the provincial government in March 2005. The program is delivered by health care professionals and service providers in BC's health authorities. Screening of all newborns in the province began in the early fall of 2007. At the end of 2008, about 90% of all babies born in BC were being screened.
Knowing that your baby has good hearing is important. Babies begin to learn speech and language from the moment they are born. If your baby can’t hear well, he or she may have problems developing language skills and learning to talk. Newborn hearing tests are important for families, because much can be done if hearing loss is caught early in a baby’s life.
About one of every 300 babies is born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. This number increases for babies who require special care at birth.
Most babies born with a hearing loss are born into families with no history of hearing loss. It is not easy to identify that a young baby has a hearing loss by simply watching his or her behaviour. Without early screening, many babies with hearing loss go undetected until later in childhood. Even if no one in your family has a hearing loss, it is important to have your baby’s hearing screened.”
Taken from the BC Early Hearing Program website: www.phsa.ca/AgenciesAndServices/Services/BCEarlyHearing/default.htm
What happens if your baby has been identified with a hearing loss?
- The BC Early Hearing Program will contact an SLP in your community that has been trained by them, to provide you and your child with the appropriate intervention and supports.
- The speech therapists at our centre have trained with the BCEHP.