about Moving Through the EHDI Process
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) is commonly used to describe the process of newborn hearing screening (by or before 1 month of age), identification (by or before 3 months of age) and entrance into early intervention (by or before 6 months of age) for children with hearing loss. The EHDI process also includes sensitive activities and timelines for children who develop hearing loss within their first three years of life, and mirrors similar timelines to the newborn hearing screening process, once a young child’s hearing loss is suspected.
While this process, or model, is a commonly known structure or framework for service providers, the EHDI process itself is really about you and your child. The EHDI process is designed to support you as a family as you gather information about your child’s hearing and development to then connect with services and resources you believe will be most beneficial to your child and family. This is your process and only you can decide the ways in which you will seek support. Your decisions are influenced by your experiences, family structure, values, beliefs and culture, all of which are unique to you and your family.
As parents of a child with hearing loss, you face many decisions to support your child’s development across his/her lifetime. The early years are often some of the most difficult to sort out as the diagnosis and early parenting experiences are so new. You will quickly find yourself expanding your network of support in a variety of ways as you seek to gather information, knowledge and insights into raising your child.
Family support for young children with hearing loss should come from a wide variety of sources and can be categorized as coming from five distinct areas:
- Existing communities surrounding a family before their child is diagnosed
- Other families who have children with hearing loss
- Deaf and hard of hearing adults
- Information and resources