For Families and Caregivers
The ability to communicate is the key to your baby's success!
Language is how your baby learns, and communication and language development begins at birth with your fist verbal or non-verbal communication. Babies use sounds and movements to communicate before one year of age, regardless of their hearing status. In Illinois, all babies receive a hearing screening in the hospital before leaving. If the baby is born outside of the hospital setting, the screening should happen no later 1 month of age. If a baby does not pass their hearing screening, follow-up testing should be completed no later than 3 months of age. It is important to find out what and how your baby is hearing as early as possible. This will help you determine best way to communicate and bond with your baby. Children who are DHH may need to learn other ways to communicate, such as sign language.
If your baby is deaf or hard of hearing, they need to receive early intervention services to learn, grow, and thrive. Your baby should receive these services as soon as possible - at least before your baby is 6 months old - earlier is better! The Illinois Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (IL EHDI) and its partner programs can help guide you through the process and ensure you, your baby, and your family receive the support you need.