The Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) program is dedicated to ensuring that deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) newborns and young children are identified early and receive intervention services.
National standards call for hearing screening no later than one month of age, a diagnosis no later than three months of age for infants not passing the screening, and enrollment in intervention no later than six months of age for children identified as D/HH. This is known as the 1-3-6 Plan. When left undetected, hearing loss can delay speech, language, social, and emotional development in children.
TEHDI Program’s Role in Hearing Screening
- Provides a system and technical assistance to licensed birth facilities and other hearing services providers under the statute.
- Hosts a web-based system for reporting and tracking newborn hearing information known as the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention management information system (TEHDI MIS).
- Certifies birth facilities and monitors certification standards for newborn hearing screening programs.
- Ensures that newborns who are diagnosed as Deaf or hard of hearing receive follow-up and intervention services.
The TEHDI Program was established in 1999 through the passage of House Bill 714 and was implemented in Texas birth facilities with the Department of State Health Services as the oversight agency.
Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 47 ensures all babies born in Texas receive a hearing screening, proper intervention, and referrals to services if suspected or diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing.
Texas Administrative Code provides the rules followed by DSHS to implement the newborn hearing screening program.
Consent is not required to perform a newborn hearing screen. However, a family may decline the screen. The Texas Health and Human Services executive commissioner, in collaboration with DSHS, developed a form to document a parent's decision to decline the newborn hearing screening. It is recommended that the refusal is captured in writing.