Pediatric Hearing Testing

Each of our audiologists has a great deal of experience and specialized training to work with pediatric patients.   We work with patients as young as 10 months of age.  We offer a full range of diagnostic tests for children, as well as, providing hearing aids and follow up care if that is needed.  

Normal hearing is essential in order for your child to develop appropriate speech and language.  If you or your healthcare provider is concerned about your child’s progress with learning to talk, you may be referred to the Easterseals Center for Better Hearing for a pediatric hearing assessment.  Other reasons for a referral might be a history of frequent ear infections, concerns about developmental delays, or your child may not have passed a hearing screening conducted at school or in the pediatrician’s office.  In all of these cases you will need the skills of an audiologist to properly evaluate your child.   

 What to expect at the appointment for your child. 

Our audiologists will review any medical information that was sent by your healthcare provider.  They will ask you questions about the reason for the visit, birth history, medical history, family history of hearing loss, and your concerns about your child’s hearing.  The audiologist will choose specific tests to evaluate your child’s hearing based on factors such as age and development.  You may remain with your child during the evaluation.  The tests they choose will be appropriate for your child’s age. 

What to expect for children under 3

Generally children under 3 years are unable to follow directions for a traditional hearing test.  Our audiologists will measure your child’s hearing using special techniques designed specifically for this age group.  One of the procedures is called Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA).  This procedure is generally very interesting and enjoyable for this age group.  Many children will prefer to sit on their parent’s lap during this procedure. The audiologist will play special sounds and speech through speakers and will observe your child’s reactions to lighted toys that are activated with the sounds are played to determine your child’s hearing sensitivity. The audiologist will also examine your child’s ear canals and eardrums using an otoscope and may perform other tests using a small probe placed in the ear canal. 

What to expect for children older than 3 

Your child may be sitting at a small colorful child-size table and you will be able to be with them during this procedure.   Our audiologists will use techniques that will make the hearing test into a game.  Your child may be asked to point to pictures, place toys in a bucket, stack blocks or place pegs in a board in response to sounds.  Our audiologists are very good at making your child feel comfortable during the procedures. The audiologist will also examine your child’s ear canals and eardrums using an otoscope and may perform other tests using a small probe placed in the ear canal. 

Following the examination, the audiologist will explain the test results to you and will discuss with you their recommendations if further treatment is needed.  A report of the examination will be prepared and sent to your healthcare, provider and anyone else that you desire. 

 If you have any questions about the testing procedures, please call us at 203 754-5141 Ext 225.