Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health

6 - Before SIX Months of Age: Early Intervention

Early intervention

Mother reading to babyThere are many decisions that will need to be made. It is important to know which professional is best prepared to answer questions and provide helpful information. These professionals may include:

  • South Dakota Birth to Three Service Coordinator - A professional that provides organization for the early intervention team and focuses on ensuring a family's needs are being met.

  • South Dakota School for the Deaf Outreach Consultant - A professional that provides information to families on hearing level, assistive technology, language development and communication options

  • Pediatric Audiologist - a professional who specializes in testing the hearing of babies and children and can recommend hearing instruments and options
  • Speech-Language Pathologist - a professional who specializes in speech and speech development
  • Otolaryngologist - a professional who specializes in problems of the ear, nose and throat; also called an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor
  • Pediatrician or Family Practitioner - a doctor who provides primary health care for babies and children

The main goal of these professionals is to work together to limit the effects of hearing loss on the baby's development. It is essential that appropriate services begin as soon as possible, preferably before six months of age, so speech and language development is not delayed. These delays can negatively impact a child's social and emotional growth and academic achievement.


Above are links to agencies, organizations and other websites that provide information, services and resources of interest to the deaf and hard of hearing and to their families. The South Dakota Department of Health exercises no control over the content of these sites and provides the links for informational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for medical care.

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