Diagnosis of child permanent hearing impairment (PHI) can be made with extreme timeliness compared to the past thanks to improvements in PHI identification through newborn hearing screening programmes. It now becomes essential to provide an effective amplification as quickly as possible in order to restore auditory function and favour speech and language development. The early fitting of hearing aids and possible later cochlear implantation indeed prompts the development of central auditory pathways, connections with secondary sensory brain areas, as well as with motor and articulatory cortex. The aim of this paper is to report the results of a strategic analysis that involves identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding the process of achieving early amplification in all cases of significant childhood PHI. The analysis is focused on the Italian situation and is part of the Italian Ministry of Health project CCM 2013 “Preventing Communication Disorders: a Regional Program for Early Identification, Intervention and Care of Hearing Impaired Children”.
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