• Contact Us

    Newborn Screening Unit
    Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
    PO Box 149347, MC-1918
    Austin, Texas 78714-9347


    Fax: 512-776-7125
    Toll-free: 800-252-8023, ext. 7726

    tehdi@dshs.texas.gov


Frequently Asked Questions

TEHDI refers to the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. The goals of the program are to provide better outcomes for Texas newborns and young children with hearing loss and their families, through early hearing screening, appropriate hearing testing, and appropriate care. 

 

What is newborn hearing screening? 

Newborn hearing screening is a painless test done on your newborn to check his or her hearing. Every baby should have a hearing screening completed within the first month (30 days) of the baby’s life.


Why is it important that newborns get screened?

Babies learn to communicate as soon as they are born. Babies may respond to noise by startling or turning their heads toward the sound, but this doesn't mean they can hear all the sounds around them. Detecting hearing loss early prevents delays in speech and language and social skill development.


How is the screening done? Does it hurt? (No!)

A baby's hearing is screened using Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR), Transient or Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE), or both., Screening only takes a few minutes. You can stay with your baby while the screening is done. Read more about AABR and OAE testing.


Where can my baby get a hearing screening?

Your newborn will get a hearing screening at the birth facility. If the birth center does not do a hearing screening, they will refer you to another facility to set up your baby’s appointment. 

 

How do I know do if my baby had a hearing screening?

You should be given a copy of the results before you and your baby leave the birth facility. Contact the birth facility to find out if your baby was screened. Check discharge paperwork for hearing screening results. If you have problems with the above, contact the TEHDI Program.

   

What if I deliver my baby at home?

Your baby can be screened by a local audiologist, a person trained to test hearing. Your pediatrician will provide you with a referral. You can find an audiologist using our pediatric service provider’s map.

 

How much does it cost?

Most private health insurance covers hearing screening and any resulting testing until the infant is 24 months (about 2 years) of age. Contact your health insurance provider or Medicaid / TexCare Children’s Medicaid (CHIP) for eligibility requirements and enrollment instructions.

   

What if my baby does not pass the screening?

A “Did Not Pass” means the baby needs another screening. A follow-up appointment must be completed as soon as possible, preferably within the first month (30 days) of the baby’s life. If the baby does not pass again, then further testing will need to be done to find out the cause.


Where can I get more information?

Read our Next Steps in Newborn Hearing Screening page to learn more about the next steps if your baby does not pass the hearing screenings for more information.


Last updated April 27, 2022