Infants and children who suffer from congenital or acquired hearing loss can face a lifetime of speech and language deficits, poor academic performance, and emotional problems, says a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In the clinical report, Hearing Assessment in Infants and Children: Recommendations Beyond Neonatal Screening, researchers have developed an algorithm to assist pediatricians in determining the course of treatment when a hearing screening indicates hearing loss in children from infants to 18 years of age.

Confirmed abnormal hearing test results require ongoing evaluation and intervention by a team of specialists including an audiologist, otolaryngologist, speech-language pathologists, and teachers, says the statement.

At least one-third of children with hearing loss will also have a coexisting condition, so they should continue to be monitored for developmental and behavioral disorders and referred for additional evaluation when necessary, it adds.

[Source: American Academy of Pediatrics]