Sounds of Silence

More and more hospitals are testing newborns for hearing loss. Here's what you should know

Anyone who has ever witnessed the miracle in which infants progress from mewling to "Mama" to "Mine!" knows how critical it is for youngsters to hear normally before they speak their first words. Indeed, many children who don't talk by age two turn out to be deaf. The sooner their disability is discovered and treated, the less likely they are to fall behind in the development of important language and social skills. That is why a growing number of hearing specialists (audiologists) and parents are campaigning for mandatory screening of newborns for hearing loss.

Their appeal has registered in some powerful...

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