In the context of permanent childhood hearing loss, early audiological diagnosis is a prerequisite for activation of an adequate rehabilitation program to prevent or limit the known effects that auditory deprivation determines on language development and cognitive skills in neonates. Audiological diagnosis consists schematically of three phases: identification of subjects at risk, definition of hearing loss and/or children features, verification of appropriateness of diagnosis itself and a rehabilitation programme. Strategies and methods of audiological diagnosis are well defined and include an integration of data coming from objective methods with clinical and behavioural data. Although the substantial effectiveness of procedures and a general consensus on their use and interpretation have been defined, there are several critical issues concerning the achievement of this objective, which will be discussed in this paper.
- Auditory pathways maturation
- Early audiological diagnosis
- Infant hearing impairment
- SWOT analysis
- Universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS)