More On Pediatric Evaluations

Testing the hearing of y our newborn or child can be a little nerve-wracking. We understand that the more information you have, the better! Below is an outline of the different aspects of a newborn hearing screen. 

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

The ABR test is used for newborns through 6 months of age. It is an electroacoustic test which measures the response of the hearing (auditory) nerve. Sensors are placed on the child’s forehead and behind each ear, and small earphones are placed in the ears. Sounds will be played through the earphones and the response of the auditory nerve is measured to determine the child’s hearing levels.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)

Otoacoustic emissions are used for newborns through adulthood. OAE is an electroacoustic test which measures the function of the outer hair cells (integrity of the cochlea). A small earphone is placed in the ear through which sounds will be played. Responses from the cochlea are measured to determine the child’s hearing levels.

Tympanometry

Middle-ear analysis in infants younger than 6 months requires tympanometry using a special 1000Hz probe tone, different acoustic reflex stimuli and different normative data. A small soft probe is placed in the outer ear canal. Test results provide information about middle-ear fluid, Eustachian Tube function and acoustic reflex integrity.

Visual Response Audiometry (VRA)

VRA is used for children 7-24 months of age. The child will sit on the caregiver’s lap between two speakers or wearing headphones. The audiologist will present sounds. The child will be taught to turn their head in response to the sound and will be rewarded with a toy that lights up. The child’s attention will then be brought back to center and the sequence will start again. Different pitches (frequencies) and loudness (intensity) will be used to determine the child’s hearing levels.

Visually Reinforced Operant Conditioning Audiometry (VROCA)

VROCA is used for 24-36 months of age. The child will wear headphones and will be taught to push a button or other device in response to the sound and will be rewarded with a toy that lights up. The child’s attention will then be brought back to center and the sequence will start again. Different pitches (frequencies) and loudness (intensity) will be used to determine the child’s hearing levels.

Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA)

CPA is used for children 3-6 years of age. The child will wear headphones and will be taught to place a block or other toy in a bin in response to the sound. Different pitches (frequencies) and loudness (intensity) will be used to determine the child’s hearing levels.

Conventional Audiometry (CA)

Conventional audiometry is used for children who no longer need conditioning tasks. The patient responds to auditory stimuli by raising their hand. Different pitches (frequencies) and loudness (intensity) will be used to determine the child’s hearing levels.

Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) Screening

An auditory processing disorder is the inability or impaired ability to recognize or comprehend information by hearing even though a person has normal intelligence and normal hearing sensitivity. APD testing is often recommended for school-aged children who have difficulty learning and listening. An APD evaluation assesses the auditory perceptual skills as they relate to communication and academic performance. Based on screening test results, our practitioners will recommend the appropriate follow up testing and/or therapy.