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Pediatric Audiology Services
The Sooner Your Child is Evaluated the Better
You’ve been told that your child needs to have their hearing checked. This can be a scary time especially if your baby is just a few days old. We understand how you’re feeling and rest assured we’ll promise to answer all your questions and to make sure your visit with us is as stress-free as possible.
The most important period for language and speech development is generally regarded as the first 3 years of life. It is important that hearing impairment be recognized as early in life as possible so that the child can enjoy normal social development.
The primary justification for early identification of hearing impairment in infants relates to the impact of hearing impairment on speech and language acquisition, academic achievement, and social/emotional development. If a child is hard of hearing or deaf at birth or experiences hearing loss in infancy or early childhood, it is likely that child will not receive adequate auditory, linguistic, and social stimulation requisite to speech and language learning, social and emotional development and that family functioning will suffer. The goal of early identification and intervention is to minimize or prevent these adverse effects.
FAQ About Childhood Hearing Loss
How many babies are born with hearing loss?
In the United States, approximately 3 of 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss.
What causes more than 50% of hearing loss in children?
Genes are responsible for hearing loss among 50% to 60% of children with hearing loss.
Can infections during pregnancy cause hearing loss?
Infections during pregnancy in the mother, other environmental causes, and complications after birth are responsible for hearing loss among almost 30% of babies with hearing loss.
How much money is based in school based programs for the hearing impaired?
During the 1999 – 2000 school year, the total cost in the United States for special education programs for children who were deaf or hard of hearing was $652 million, or $11,006 per child.
What percentage of newborns are screened for hearing loss?
Over 97% of newborns in the U.S. were screened for hearing loss
Tests for Infants and Children
Evoked Otoacoustic Emmissions
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) testing checks the inner ear response to sound. Because this test does not rely on a person’s response behavior, the person being tested can be sound asleep during the test, the ideal test for infants.
Auditory Brainstem Response Testing
An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test a test that checks the brain’s response to sound. Because this test does not rely on a child’s response behavior, the individual being tested can be sound asleep during the test.
Behavioral Audiometry Evaluations will test how a person responds to sound overall. Behavioral Audiometry Evaluation tests the function of all parts of the ear. The person being tested must be awake and actively respond to sounds heard during the test.
What to do next?
Treatments and Intervention Services
No single treatment or intervention is the answer for every person or family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way. There are many different types of communication options for children with hearing loss and for their families. Some of these options include:
- Learning other ways to communicate, such as sign language
- Technology to help with communication, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants
- Medicine and surgery to correct some types of hearing loss
- Family support services
By the Numbers
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Babies
- Does not startle at loud noises.
- Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
- Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
- Turns head when he or she sees you but not if you only call out his or her name. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
- Seems to hear some sounds but not others.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
- Speech is delayed.
- Speech is not clear.
- Does not follow directions. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
- Often says, “Huh?”
- Turns the TV volume up too high.
Northwest Hearing Services
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We'd love to set up a consultation for you or answer any questions you may have.