Pediatric Hearing Testing

At New Jersey Hearing Health Center we specialize in evaluating infants, young children and those children with special needs. With over twenty years of experience working with children, we are experienced in making the evaluation procedure as pleasant as possible.

Hearing services for children. Appropriate hearing is essential to the communication, educational, and intellectual development of infants and young children. Our audiologists test children of all ages, including infants from six months of age, identifying and managing hearing loss in children of all ages. This includes not only identifying hearing loss, but managing the interventions and working closely with the Early Intervention Programs and schools to ensure educational interventions and accommodations are considered.

It is important to have your baby’s hearing checked. As many as 3 of every 1,000 babies are born in the United States each year with a hearing loss. Your baby can’t tell you if he or she can’t hear. Babies who do not hear your voice, a lullaby or a nursery rhyme may have problems learning to talk. It is vitally important to have your baby’s hearing tested before you leave the hospital. Hearing problems need to be identified as early as possible so that you may take actions that give your baby the best chance to develop speech and language.

Hearing loss is a hidden disability; that’s why it is so important to have your baby’s hearing tested. Each year, more than 4,000 babies are born with hearing loss. Most babies born with hearing problems are otherwise healthy and have no family history of hearing loss. It is important for you to be sure that your baby has normal hearing. It is unlikely that your baby will have a hearing loss; however, the only way to know is to have your baby’s hearing tested as early as possible. The first year of life is critical to the development of normal speech and language.

New Jersey Hearing Health Center is a recognized professional and experienced facility for infant follow-up testing from the age of 6 months. If your baby is referred to the NJ High Risk Register and recommended for follow-up testing and/or monitoring, testing will be done to determine if their hearing levels are appropriate for language and communication development.

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry is a procedure commonly used for our smallest patients that cannot participate in the traditional hearing test. The infant or young toddler is placed on your lap and visual indicators are used as a reinforcement system when sounds are presented. Our extensive training in Pediatric testing allows us to determine whether the child is “hearing” the sounds efficiently.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) are measured directly with a miniature microphone and sent to a special computer to determine your baby’s hearing status. This allows the audiologist to determine if the anatomical regions of the hearing system are functioning. Although not a specific test of “hearing”, this provides the audiologist with valuable information pertaining to the integrity and status of your child’s hearing system.

Children who seem to have normal hearing, should continue to have their hearing evaluated on a regular basis. Hearing screenings are usually performed in school yearly through the 3rd grade, in seventh grade and 11th grade. If you are concerned that your child seems to be having trouble hearing, or if their speech development seems abnormal or their speech is difficult to understand call us at (732) 458-5050.


Hearing Evaluations for toddlers and school children. As the areas only specialists in Educational Audiology, Dr. Goione-Merchant and Dr. Ridenour work closely with many school systems in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. They provide a full range of hearing care services in private and public schools for students in all grades. These services are essential to the development of speech, language and learning skills in children with hearing problems.

How Is My Child’s Hearing Tested?
Dr. Goione-Merchant has been evaluating infants and children for over 20 years. There are several methods of testing a child’s hearing depending upon the child’s age, development, or health status. Behavioral tests involve careful observation of a child’s behavioral response to sounds like calibrated speech and pure tones. This may include an infant’s eye movements, a head-turn by a toddler, placement of a block in a bucket by a pre-schooler, or a hand-raise by a grade-schooler. Speech responses may involve repeating words at soft or comfortable levels or prompting to parts of the face. Very young children are capable of a number of behavioral tests. All sessions are interactive and designed to make your child feel at ease.

Physiologic tests are not hearing tests but are measures that can partially estimate hearing function. They are used for children who can’t be tested behaviorally due to young age, developmental delay, or other medical conditions and in some conditions can help to define the function of the auditory system that is at fault.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
A test in which a series of clicks or tones are placed in the ear canal by a small probe. A microphone within the probe picks up the ear’s response to the sound and sends it to a computer.

A test in which a device which changes the pressure within your ear canal and measures how well your eardrum moves in response to the pressure, is placed in your ear. The purpose of tympanometry is to determine how well the middle ear is functioning and the mobility of the eardrum.

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
This test is used with infants from 6 months of age to approximately 2 years of age. Based on the concept of conditioning, children are rewarded for looking in the direction of sounds with a visually rewarding event, e.g. a dancing puppet. The test can be conducted with sounds coming from a speaker or from earphones.

Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA)
CPA makes hearing testing a fun and interactive game for children. The child is instructed, for example, to toss a block in a bucket for each sound heard. The test can be conducted with sounds coming from a speaker or from earphones. This test is useful with children between 2 and 4 years of age.

Traditional Audiometry
At approximately 4 years of age, a child is able to participate in traditional audiologic testing procedures. During this test, a child wears a set of earphones and is instructed to raise a hand as soon as they hear a sound.

Call (732) 458-5050 to obtain more information on how Dr. Goione-Merchant and Dr. Ridenour can help you and your child.