Screening for congenital hearing disorders in newborn infants has been carried out in the Province of Central Finland since 1967. In 1967-1971, a total of 23 children (12 boys and 11 girls) were found to have congenital hearind disorders. From this it can be calculated that 90 infants are born each year with congenital hearing disorders in Finland. Our sample did not include slight or moderate hearing disorders (under 45 dB). 11 children under the age of 18 months were provided with a hearing aid. In spite of the screening, 12 cases (mean age 2 years) were not diagnosed until they came to the phoniatric clinic because of delayed speech development. These children were presumably also congenitally deaf. Most of the children in the delayed group reacted favourably to the auropalpebral reflex test on the obstetrical ward; their speech development was better and they also profited more from having a hearing aid than those children whose hearing defect had been discovered earlier. Screening for hearing disorders should be made nation-wide in order to avoid the harmful effects of the delay of rehabilitation on the child's development. The possibility of a hearing disorder should be kept in mind in those cases where there is a delay in speech development and also in those cases where the child has some other severe congenital defect which demands the attention of the nursing staff.