At New Jersey Hearing Health Center we specialize in evaluating 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 audiologist tests children ages five and up, identifying and managing hearing loss in children. This includes not only identifying hearing loss, but managing the interventions and working closely with the Early Intervention Programs.
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.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
A procedure commonly used for our smallest patients that cannot participate in the traditional hearing test. The child 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)
They 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. 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) 746-4604.
NO CHILD IS TOO YOUNG FOR A HEARING EVALUATION
How Is My Child’s Hearing Tested?
Dr. Goione Merchant has been evaluating infants and children for over 25 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 tests of hearing, but are objective measures to examine the integrity of the hearing structure. 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. Responses are averaged to determine in the inner ear is responding to sounds.
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. It helps to determine if there is blockage and/or congestion in the middle ear, preventing sound from passing through. It also helps evaluate the mobility of the three middle ear bones.
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.
At approximately 4 years of age, a child is typically 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. Additional speech audiometry is added depending on the child’s language and speech proficiency.
Call (732) 746-4604 to obtain more information on how Dr. Goione-Merchant can help you and your child.