Markham Stouffville Hospital is the lead agency for the Tri-Regional Infant Hearing Program. The Hospital partners with agencies to deliver services across the Tri-Region.
Toll free: 1-888-703-5437 (select option 4 for Infant Hearing)
Hearing screenings occur in the following hospitals before the baby is discharged. If screening did not occur in hospital, families are strongly encouraged to book an appointment at one of our community clinics.
Hearing screenings also occur in your local community. To inquire about an appointment contact 1-888-703-5437 and select option 4 for the Infant Hearing Program.
The Tri-Regional Infant Hearing Program contracts with local audiologists to provide hearing assessments for children referred from the program. These audiologists are trained and registered with the Ontario Infant Hearing Program and are provided with the necessary equipment to properly assess and monitor children with hearing loss following the protocols of the program.
If hearing loss is identified, arrangements are made to refer the infant for a medical assessment.
Family Support Services
Family Support Workers are available to families of children identified with permanent hearing loss to help with the process of accepting the hearing loss and dealing with its implications. They can provide counselling to families, investigate funding options for families needing financial support for hearing aids or other devices and help them to connect with other local services that can help to monitor and encourage their child’s development.
Communication Development Services
Some children will require help to properly develop their communication skills. Depending on their degree of hearing loss, auditory skills and the communication style chosen by their parents, children may be eligible to access services through the Preschool Speech and Language program, Auditory-Verbal Therapy or an American Sign Language and Literacy Consultant.
High Risk Monitoring
Who is eligible for High Risk Monitoring?
Infants who are identified with a risk factor for late onset or progressive hearing loss and who have received a “PASS” result on an earlier screening will be eligible for the High Risk Monitoring Protocol.
What is the High Risk Monitoring Protocol?
This is an evidence based protocol using various steps between 4 and 30 months. The steps include:
- 8-12 months corrected age – Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) by an IHP-trained audiologist
- 18 months corrected age – a standardized auditory skills checklist (LittlEars Auditory Checklist) completed by telephone with a screener in the program
- 30 months corrected age – access to a developmental screening
- A modified version of this protocol is used for infants identified with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection or meningitis
What if my child gets a PASS RESULT?
Infants who “PASS” any of the steps are recommended for the next step. At 30 months of age, the child is no longer monitored by the program.
What if my child gets a REFER RESULT?
An infant having a “REFER” result on any surveillance will have a complete audiology diagnostic assessment.
If a child does not meet the expected score on the LittlEars Auditory Checklist, the screener will recommend a referral to an IHP- trained audiologist for diagnostic assessment. With parental consent, screeners will also initiate a referral to the Preschool Speech and Language Program.
Click Here for a list of the high risk indicators currently included on the Ontario Infant Hearing Program high risk registry.
All newborns with risk indicators for hearing impairment should be screened before discharge from the hospital, using AABR instrumentation. Babies with any of the high risk indicators are at risk for progressive early childhood hearing loss and will be monitored by the Infant Hearing Program until they are 30 months corrected.
A refer result at any point indicates the baby should have a comprehensive hearing assessment. Because these babies have risk indicators, they will go directly to an audiology assessment with only one AABR refer result.
Babies who were successfully screened at birth (0 to 3 months of age) may be referred to the Infant Hearing Program up to the age of 24 months if they exhibit an acquired, late-onset or progressive risk factor for permanent hearing loss such as syndromes or post-natal infections associated with sensorineural hearing loss, neurodegenerative disorders or significant head trauma. Hearing screening and/or assessment services will be provided for these infants as soon as possible upon referral.