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Cockeysville, MD Office
10153 York Road, Suite 106
(410) 683-0101

Stewartstown, PA Office
200 Bailey Drive, Suite 201
(717) 993-3686

Hearing Aids for Children

The Case for Early Diagnosis

Moderate hearing loss affects over 2 million school-aged children in America. Frequently these children are not diagnosed until after the age of two. It is critical, for speech and language development, to diagnose hearing loss before the age of six (6) months, and to strive for any required intervention to be completed by eighteen (18) months. Early diagnosis and medical management is crucial for learning ability and social growth in school. Fortunately, new diagnostic technology allows for early detection of hearing loss - even at birth. At AC Associates, we have invested in the latest testing equipment so that we can help diagnose your child as soon as possible.



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.

Tympanometry

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

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.


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