Help Kids Hear – A web site dedicated to helping parents of children that are deaf or hard of hearing.  The latest news, resources, articles, and discussions about hearing impaired children!
About Help Kids Hear Site Map Search Help Kids Hear Web Site News
A site for parents of hard of hearing & deaf children.
In the News - News articles about hearing impairment, new technologies, and other related materials.
Articles & Commentary - Our editorial section. Articles written by us and by professionals in the field.
Resources & Information - Our largest section. Dedicated to helping you find the information you need. Everything from educational information, sources financial support, mental health support and more!
Facts & Figures - A brief "stat sheet" with information about just how common hearing impairment is, particularly in children.
Discussion Forum - What we hope will be hallmark of our site. An open forum where you can read and post questions about hearing impairment across a wide variety of categories.
For the Kids - Links to and information just for the kids themselves.

Dakota Newborn Hearing Tests


Two-year-old Blake Miller is a very animated little boy. The only things that set him apart from any other toddler are the tiny hearing aids in each ear. "He received his first set of hearing aids at three-months of age," says Avera McKennan Audiologist Teresa Fendrich. Before Blake was discharged from the hospital, he was given a newborn hearing test. His mom, Jenny Miller recalls, "It was a pass/fail test and he didn't pass it, so we had to come back."

Fendrich says newborn hearing tests are crucial. "Kids may respond to sound at home, they may startle as infants giving you ever indication that they're hearing, but can still have enough loss to interfere with speech and language development."

Now, every baby discharged from Avera McKennan is tested. Fendrich says before the tests were available, hearing loss sometimes wasn't discovered until kids were two to three years old. Fendrich continues to monitor Blake's hearing, changing the testing techniques as he gets older. "We're just trying to make a game of it, get him ready to give us really reliable ear-specific information by when he hears a sound to do a task."

Fendrich says the goal is to identify hearing loss in a child by age three-months, and have intervention in place by six-months. Fendrich adds, "The whole message is that the brain is waiting to hear speech and language a whole lot earlier than we ever imagined."

As for little Blake, he meets with a speech therapist every week, and developmentally is right where he's supposed to be. His mom says, "We just see endless possibilities for him and we are so blessed that they had this newborn test because otherwise we don't know where we would be today with him." Fendrich says even if your newborn is given a hearing test, you'll still want to monitor you child's speech and language development, because it can change.

By Leslie Rupiper



Help Kids Hear is a site dedicated to helping parents of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We are parents of hard of hearing kids and simply want to "give back" to the community. We welcome your comments, questions & suggestions. Please drop us a note at