Fifteen years of early hearing screening in Flanders: impact on language and education


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium


Kind en Gezin, Brussels, Belgium

B-ENT 2013; 9: Supplement 81-90
Read: 720 Downloads: 621 Published: 12 February 2020

Fifteen years of early hearing screening in Flanders: impact on language and education. Objectives: To assess the impact of fifteen years of universal neonatal hearing screening in Flanders on language development and the educational setting.

Methodology: An analysis of the database of Kind en Gezin from 1997 to 2012 and a long-term evaluation of the children referred to our centre after failed neonatal hearing screening. The CELF and PPVT language tests were performed.

Results: Between 1997 and August 2012, bilateral hearing loss was confirmed in 2393 children in Flanders, of whom 11.4% were referred to our tertiary centre. The educational setting and language development of 84 children older than 5 years was evaluated and 54% of them had additional disabilities. Of the children without additional disabilities, 84% attended mainstream schools; 42% of children with additional disabilities entered mainstream education with additional support. There was a significant correlation between the number of additional disabilities and the education level (p<0.001) and between the degree of hearing loss and educational placement (p<0.001). Data on language development were available for 76% of the children and a significant correlation could be demonstrated only between the results of the PPVT language and the number of additional handicaps (p<0.008).

Conclusions: The majority of children receiving early treatment after neonatal hearing screening enter mainstream education. The number of additional disabilities has a significant effect on education level and language development.

EISSN 2684-4907