The Tamil Nadu Government has set up an Early Intervention Centre. This scheme aims to identify infants and children with hearing loss. It also promotes timely follow-up testing and services or interventions for any family whose child has a hearing loss. Infant and young children with hearing impairment are given training to develop speech and language skills so as to get integrated into normal school by the time they attain the age of 5 years. Early Intervention Centers for infant and young children with hearing impairment have been established in all district except Tirupur & Ramanathapuram.
Goal of the Scheme:
Delay in treatment or action can lead to delay in speech and/or language development, social behavioral issues and academic difficulties. While Early intervention remains key for better outcome. So the main goal of this scheme is to help the children to develop age-appropriate skills in language, speech, motor and prepare them to join in a mainstream school at the age of 5. The district disability rehabilitation officer will take care of identification, diagnosis and hearing-aid fitment.
Who is treated in this early intervention centres?
Children from birth through 36 months of age who are diagnosed with a hearing loss can be treated in Early Intervention centers. Children under the age of 3 years (36 months) who are at risk of having developmental delays may be eligible for getting treatment in this centres. These services are provided through an early intervention system in your state.
Babies who are diagnosed with hearing loss should begin to get intervention services as soon as possible, but no later than 6 months of age.
How Early diagnosis and intervention will help?
The most effective treatment is achieved through early diagnosis and intervention. Universal newborn screening is done at birth to identify children with potential hearing loss. When identified, these children can be further assessed with a series of audio logical tests and radiological assessment of the inner ear structures. Children with severe to profound hearing loss can be treated when the child is eight months old with the help of cochlear implant surgery. With this surgery, the child can undergo aural habilitation and develop good hearing and speech. This enables the child to enter mainstream schooling and lead a normal life. The neural emergency period in congenital hearing loss is up to the age of two. If intervention is done within this period, the best possible outcomes in terms of speech and hearing can be achieved. Delay in surgical intervention by cochlear implant surgery, can lead to poorer outcomes in hearing and expressive language.
Where to get application form for this program?
The application form for this program is available with District Differently abled Welfare Officer.
Certificate to be enclosed with the application:
- Birth certificate
- National identity card for differently abled
Officers to be contacted:
The officer to be contacted to get into this program is District Differently Abled Welfare Officer.