What does it mean if a newborn doesn’t pass the hearing screening? Will she be deaf?

Question by mamalui: What does it mean if a newborn doesn’t pass the hearing screening? Will she be deaf?
My friend’s newborn hasn’t passed her hearing screening 5 times and she is freaked out, wondering if her baby will turn out to be deaf or have hearing loss. I know the baby can fail if there is fluid in her ear canal or if there is excessive noise/movement during the screening.

Has anyone else have this happen to their baby? What was the result? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by MM
If the baby has failed 5 times it almost certain that the she has a certain degree of hearing loss the extent would have to be determined by an audiologist. My nephew failed his first newborn screening but did
pass the second time. My niece and her brother on the other hand failed 3 tests each and both are hearing impaired. My niece was not tested until she was 2 so she was fitted with hearing aids at about 2.5 Years and that did affect her ability to speak although with speech therapy it she did improve very fast. Her brother was screened at 6 weeks and was found to have significant hearing loss he was fitted with hearing aides at 3 months of age and he began to speak at about 2 years (with speech therapy). He is actually a candidate for a cochlearr implant and his parents have to make a decision as to whether they should go ahead with the surgery.

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3 Responses to “What does it mean if a newborn doesn’t pass the hearing screening? Will she be deaf?”

  1. Supermommy!!! says:

    Failing that many times is probably a sign of a problem as they usually space them out a bit and all fluid and build-up in her ears should be gone by now. Also they usually do the test in a quite room with little or no noise. They did my son’s in an empty hospital room. My son failed in one ear and had to go back. He passed the second time with no problem. I would think soon they should send the baby to a specialist or some place that can test if the baby is totally deaf or what type of earing loss there is.

  2. Alicia says:

    If an infant fails the first couple times, it’s not always automatically an indication of a hearing loss. But after 5 times I would say it’s a pretty good chance.

    If the baby does end up with a hearing loss…have no fear! It’ll be fine. She can tap into the resources in her area, find other parents in the same situation. If her area has a Deaf mentorship program even better…its great to meet successful d/Deaf adults.

    She’ll have some decisions to make… whether to have her child be bilingual or aural/oral. I know children who are completely bilingual with or without hearing aids and cochlear implants. She could check with the schools nearby… often schools for the deaf have wonderful parent-infant-programs that can help parents navigate and give a chance for the baby to meet up with some fellow infants with hearing loss, and the mom a chance to meet with other parents.

  3. Richard B says:

    My friend’s son failed three times, but he wasn’t deaf and didn’t suffer from any hearing loss.

    Another friend simply had a tube implanted to drain the fluid and the baby’s back to normal.

    I would suggest talking to an audiologist.


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