VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Early detection of hearing and speech issues can make the difference in a childs life.
That's why Georgia Mobile Audiology, Valdosta State University, and the Lowndes County Health Department hosted free hearing and speech tests Saturday.
Lorena Cole, Clinic Director for the VSU Speech and Hearing Clinic... tells ABC27 the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact.
"Which is also impacting our children with literacy so when we identify these kids early on, we can help them succeed in the future," said Cole.
Catina Everett, District Early Hearing Detection and Intervention or EHDI Coordinator for the South Health District, says babies should be screened for hearing loss at birth.
"If for some reason they are diagnosed with hearing loss, we refer to intervention like babies can't wait, Georgia pines, stuff like that to ensure they get proper follow up after that hearing diagnosis," said Everett.
According to the CDC hearing loss can affect a child's development. It can affect a child's ability to develop speech, language, and social skills.
"It is so important to detect these hearing screenings early on because that way we can provide them early intervention services and help them succeed in the school systems," Cole explained.
Everett says events like the one on Saturday are valuable for the community.
"We're all working together to make sure we reach the ultimate goal which is making sure that every baby gets the language and speech development that they need," said Everett.
The VSU Speech and Hearing Clinic is a free clinic, that operates through donations. They see patients ranging from infants to the elderly. You can call them at (229) 219-1301 to make an appointment.