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Northern Panhandle Head Start

Serving Pregnant Women & Families With Children, Birth to Five Years Old in Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall & Wetzel Counties of West Virginia.

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NPHS Pilots Hearing Screening Initiative

Local West Virginia Head Start Program Pilots Hearing Screening Initiative

 
(Wheeling, WV) Northern Panhandle Early Head Start (NPHS) is part of a pilot hearing screening program this year.  With accurate screening and evaluation practices, hearing health needs in children served by NPHS can be identified as early as possible so that appropriate follow-up services and support can be provided before children and families before Kindergarten. The earlier hearing loss occurs in a child's life, the more serious the effects on the child's development. Hearing is critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning. Children challenged by hearing loss or auditory processing changes continue to be an under-identified and under-served population. Early identification and intervention lessen the impact of hearing loss on a child’s development and leads to more positive outcomes.   The Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative, a part of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University, has provided Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) hearing screening technology to NPHS. Used routinely with newborns, OAE screening is becoming increasingly relied upon by early childhood service providers in identifying young children who need comprehensive audiologic evaluation and intervention.  One in three hundred children in the U.S. is born with significant hearing loss.  Between birth and school age, incidence of permanent sensorineural hearing loss doubles.  Hearing loss after birth is usually caused by external influences such as noise, trauma, and infection. Children identified with concerns after a rescreening are referred to their pediatrician who may order a consultation with a hearing specialist if indicated. In collaboration with the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Jamie Beauregard, R.N., a student in the graduate nursing program, was invited to participate in the hearing screenings to meet objectives for her Health Promotions course. She worked under the direction of the Head Start nurses Charlene Triveri, R.N. and Alma Cunningham, R.N. The hearing screenings, already in progress, are offered free to all children enrolled in NPHS Early Head Start in Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel Counties of West Virginia.  To learn more about the ECHO Initiative, visit the website at http://www.infanthearing.org/earlychildhood/earlyheadstart.html
 
For more information about this program, or to learn more about the importance and impact of early intervention and developmental screenings (at a young age) have on children, please contact our nursing staff at 304.233.3290.

 

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