If you think your child needs a hearing aid or has a hearing loss:
• Contact your pediatrician for proper treatment and/or referral; by law your child’s pediatrician serves as the medical “home” for your infant and will guide appropriate treatment
• Have your child’s hearing tested by one of our professional Audiologists
• Continue to advocate for your child’s hearing diagnosis if you suspect a problem
How Well Does Your Child Hear?
Some possible signs of hearing loss may be observed at the following stages:
Newborn to One Year...
• Doesn’t startle with loud noises
• Doesn’t comfort to the sound of parent’s voice
• Doesn’t turn head to familiar sounds
• Doesn’t babble or imitate sounds
• Doesn’t verbally produce a variety of sounds
One to Two Years...
• Doesn’t use single words
• Can’t point to body parts
• Doesn’t seem to hear from another room
• Doesn’t vocalize in response to directed speech
• Can’t follow directions without visual cues
• Can’t repeat phrases
• Can’t locate source of sound
Remember, each child develops differently and these are only general guidelines. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s hearing, contact your pediatrician and our Audiologists.
Pediatric Diagnostic Services
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) Testing
Newborn to adult - A quick, objective test to determine the function of the inner ear hearing system. Non-invasive; sedation is not needed. The best test results for very young babies are obtained during sleep.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Testing
We bring you this new technology at AC Hearing, Tinnitus and Balance Associates that allows testing without sedation in most cases, even with active children, and which can be used at any age, from newborn to adult. The ABR is an objective, non-invasive test to determine the function of the nerves that transmit hearing from the inner ear through the brainstem.
For infants to adults, this quick, non-invasive test checks middle ear function. Infants below the age of 6 months must be tested with 1000 Hz tympanometry, or the results are considered invalid.
Behavioral Observation Audiometry
Visually Reinforced Audiometry (VRA)
Used for infant and toddlers, this is a hearing assessment using animated toys and noisemakers or visual reinforcement to condition a child to respond to sounds.
Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA)
Appropriate for toddlers up to the developmental age of 4, this hearing assessment uses play to evaluate hearing with headphones, and provides ear-specific information. Many times this test is conducted by two audiologists working as a team.
Central Auditory Processing
This test is designed for those from the developmental age 6 up to adult. It is used when a child has normal hearing but doesn’t seem to understand or follow directions appropriately. Testing will assess a child’s ability to concentrate on auditory tasks in different situations, including environments with background noise. We can also perform an evaluation to help differentiate between CAPD (central auditory processing disorder) and ADD/ADHD.
Traditional audiometry is appropriate for those from the developmental age of 4 up to adults. Testing will assess the ability to subjectively hear and understand. Results provide information on the type and degree of hearing loss. AC Hearing, Tinnitus and Balance Associates will closely coordinate any rehabilitation efforts with any supporting educational, social and medical facilities to ensure the best possible treatment outcome.
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program
All babies must have hearing screened within first 24 or 48 hours of birth. This testing is often performed by nursing staff at the hospital. If this screening results in a “refer” for either ear, a repeat screening may be performed at the same facility. If results reveal a “refer” for either ear, then a diagnostic Auditory Brainstem response evaluation must be performed for both ears, in conjunction with tympanometry and otoacoustic emissions. The goal of the Universal Newborn Screening Program is to identify children with hearing loss as soon as possible to prevent any speech or language delays. Critical speech and language development is during the first 6 months to two years of life. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, appropriate intervention will be recommended. The timeline for this program is:
• Diagnose hearing loss by 1 month of age
• Intervention by 6 months of age
By diagnosing the hearing loss and providing appropriate intervention in a timely manner, the pediatric hearing loss is better monitored in an attempt to prevent any academic delays.