THE EARLIEST possible amplification for hearing-impaired infants is, according to Whetnall and Bangs and Bangs, one of the most important steps toward speech and language development.1-2 Carhart says an early awareness of sound is of great importance and is a primary step in an auditory training program.3 The use of hearing aid amplification before the age of 1 year has particular merit, according to Sortini.4 Sound is constantly present in the infant's environment, and the detection of sound, even imperfectly, is essential for some degree of language and speech development. Griffiths feels that the auditory function is quite active in an infant but will become relatively useless unless properly and constantly stimulated by means of the amplification of environmental sounds; particularly speech.5
The physician may then wonder why hearing aids are not routinely recommended by reputable audiology clinics for all hearing-impaired infants. There is, at least,
Miller AL, Newberg L. Infant Orientation to Hearing Aids: A New Approach. Am J Dis Child. 1967;113(4):466–468. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090190112011
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