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Am J Audiol. 1999 Jun;8(1):13-8.

Identifying hearing loss: parents' needs.

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Emerson College, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Boston, MA, USA.


Universal neonatal hearing screening programs are being established across the country at a rapidly accelerating rate, prompted by professional endorsement, legislated mandates, and available technology. The subsequent early identification of hearing impairment in infants will have significant impact on families as well as the audiologists who serve them. However, there have been no studies that surveyed parents of children who are deaf and or have hearing loss as to their opinions about early detection of hearing loss and the process that ensues after its detection. Here, we present the results of a retrospective survey of 75 parents whose children have known hearing loss. Their responses to a five-item questionnaire reflect parents' perspectives and identify key elements of a comprehensive management program: parent contact, unbiased information, sufficient time to process complex information, and counseling from a skilled, empathic audiologist. Implications for counseling issues and professional training are also discussed.

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