February, 2016      

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ECHO Initiative 

ECHO Initiative
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 Probes and Tips 

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Tip of the Month
Beyond Hearing Screening

When the ECHO Initiative Team hears about the range of support  that Head Start staff are giving to children and families,  we know you are going far beyond routine hearing screening.  In a month when Valentines are exchanged, it seems appropriate to acknowledge the heartfelt service that dedicated Head Start providers give to families every day: 

In one EarlyGirl being screened Head Start (EHS) program, a little girl did not pass her hearing screen. Program staff probed further to find out   that she had also failed her newborn screen and that she had a grandmother who had been deaf since an early age. Despite the state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program's attempt to engage in follow-up at the time of  the newborn screen, the young mother had not sought audiological assessment for her daughter. Caring EHS providers were able to work with the State EHDI Coordinator to help the mother prioritize a diagnostic assessment that confirmed that the child had a significant bilateral hearing loss. With continued support from the EHS program, the mother was able to accept the diagnosis, have her daughter fitted with hearing aids and benefit from early intervention services.
A number of EHS programs have begun to incorporate newborn hearing screening results into their enrollment process. So when another little girl entered a local EHS program at 2 years of age, and providers noted that she had not passed her newborn screen, they were immediately able to help the parent overcome obstacles that had been interfering with followup. Within 90 days of enrollment, the diagnosis of a moderate unilateral hearing loss was completed. EHS staff were then able to help the child get the genetic evaluation that was needed to inform an appropriate intervention strategy.  
Last but not least, a young child who had been identified with a hearing loss and fitted with a hearing aid as an infant was later enrolled in an EHS program at 27 months of age.  Attentive EHS staff noticed, however, that the child was not wearing the hearing aid consistently. The Home Visitor was able to offer valuable parent education and monitor increased hearing aid use. 

These real-life examples illustrate how effective Head Start providers are in going going beyond hearing screening.  By working closely with EHDI programs and parents, the
seemingly simple actions that staff take have the power to yield profound results in the lives of children and families.
Probe of the Month
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 ECHO - Headstart

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Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS

to enhance early childhood hearing screening and follow-up practices and PROBES

 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.