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  • This program will provide clients with an opportunity to prepare simple meals and desserts.
    June 23, 2021
    This event occurs weekly on Wednesday between May 5, 2021 and June 23, 2021
  • Sibshops are free virtual monthly workshops for siblings of active ErinoakKids clients
    June 23, 2021
  • Body weight exercises and games with peers, 10 min stretch at the end.
    June 24, 2021
    This event occurs weekly on Thursday between April 22, 2021 and June 24, 2021
  • Sibshops are free virtual monthly workshops for siblings of active ErinoakKids clients
    June 24, 2021

Infant Hearing Program

The Infant Hearing Program (IHP) provides:
  • hearing screening for all newborns in hospital or community settings
  • assessments to identify permanent hearing loss
  • monitoring of children at risk of developing hearing loss
  • language development services
ErinoakKids is the lead agency for the Infant Hearing Program in the regions of Halton, Peel, Waterloo, Guelph-Wellington, and Dufferin. The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services funds the Infant Hearing Program. 
Click on a service to learn more:
 

Newborn Hearing Screening

All newborns in hospital and community settings will receive universal hearing screening as part of the Infant Hearing Program. Hearing screening identifies infants who should have more in-depth testing for hearing loss as early as possible. Hearing screenings are provided for infants under the age of 2 months.

Why Do We Screen Babies For Hearing Loss?
Two out of 1,000 babies have hearing loss at birth. Two more develop hearing loss by the age of five. These children may hear some sounds but miss others, making it harder to learn speech and language. Early detection and intervention is critical for a child’s language and literacy development. 

How Is My Baby’s Hearing Screened?
Hearing Screen: Screening a baby’s hearing accurately requires special training and equipment. The screen is reliable, quick and gives results right away. It measures the ear’s or brain’s response to soft sounds played in your baby’s ear and, if needed, may use small stickers placed on your baby’s head. The technology used for the hearing screen is safe and will not hurt your baby.

Risk Factor Screen: Using the same sample collected by the hospital or midwife for the newborn blood spot screening, Newborn Screening Ontario will also complete a risk factor screen to see if your baby is at higher risk for hearing loss. 
 
A community hearing screening appointment should be scheduled for your baby if:
  • Baby is between 0 – 2 months of age
  • Baby did not receive a hearing screening at birth
  • Hearing screening at birth indicated the baby should be referred to a community newborn hearing screening clinic
  • Baby is a permanent resident of the province of Ontario
  • Baby resides in the regions of Halton, Peel, Waterloo, Guelph-Wellington, or Dufferin
To book a newborn hearing screen, please call our scheduling team at (905) 855-2690 ext. 3

Infant Hearing Program Audiology Services

Audiologists are hearing health professionals registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). Audiology assessment identifies the presence, nature and severity of hearing loss. If a hearing loss is identified, the audiologist explains what supports and services are available.

Supports and services may include:
  • how the hearing loss may affect your child
  • how technology may help your child hear
  • what services and supports are available to help your child

Audiology services provided through the Infant Hearing Program are for children who:
  • Received a ‘refer’ result on Stage 2 newborn hearing screening
  • Have one or more identified risk indicators for hearing loss and received a ‘refer’ result on Stage 1 newborn hearing screening
  • Bypassed newborn hearing screening because of a risk indicator for hearing loss
  • Screened positive on the Newborn Screening Ontario risk factor screen for congenital Cytomegalovirus, meningitis or genetic markers
  • Reside in the regions of Halton, Peel, Waterloo, Guelph-Wellington, or Dufferin and are between 0-6 years of age with an identified permanent hearing loss
IHP Audiologists have additional training in IHP protocols specifically created for infants and young children. There are IHP qualified audiologists throughout the Central West region. If your baby was not referred to IHP audiology following newborn hearing screening, a referral is required.  
A referral is required to access this service: Intake Services
Children with a suspected hearing loss who received and passed newborn hearing screening should be referred to an audiologist in the community for an audiological assessment.  If the audiologist suspects or confirms a permanent hearing loss, referral to the IHP should be initiated.

Click here for a list of community/hospital-based audiologists in our region
 

Language Development Services

The Infant Hearing Program (IHP) provides language intervention services for children identified with a permanent hearing loss. The goal of this service is that children will develop one language (spoken or signed) to the best of their ability by the time they enter school. Two language development options are available.

1) Spoken Language Services
Spoken language involves listening to the spoken language of others and learning to use speech sounds, words and sentences to communicate. English and French are the spoken languages supported by the IHP.  A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will work with your child to help develop spoken language. He/She will also teach you ways to help your child develop spoken language.  The SLP will regularly measure your child’s progress and work with other professionals on your child’s team to help you make the best decisions about services for your child.

2) Signed Language Services
Signed language combines hand shapes, face movements, body movements, and other grammatical features to form signs and sentences. American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) are the signed languages supported by the IHP.  An ASL/LSQ Consultant will work with your child to help develop signed language. He/She will also teach you ways to help your child develop signed language. The ASL/LSQ Consultant will regularly measure your child’s progress and work with other professionals on your child’s team to help you make the best decisions about services for your child.

Referral Criteria
  • Available for children from birth to school entry
  • Diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss and registered with the Infant Hearing Program
  • Reside in the regions of Halton, Peel, Waterloo, Guelph-Wellington, or Dufferin
A referral is required to access this service: Intake Services

Did you know?

Did you know that having your child seated on a low stool, bench or step (versus on the floor), can facilitate the learning of dressing skills?  By doing this you are increasing his or her postural stability and visual view of his or her hands.

Read about Occupational Therapy at ErinoakKids
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