Audiologic assessment of infants/children

All infants who have failed a newborn hearing screening should be seen for a complete audiologic evaluation before they are 3 months of age.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has developed Guidelines for the Audiologic Assessment of Children from Birth to 5 Years of Age. The ASHA guidelines describe the personnel, facilities, and equipment necessary for effectively evaluating infants and children. It is important for parents to ensure that their infant/child is evaluated at a facility that meets ASHA guidelines. You may consult the ASHA website to find a professional in your area.

ASHA recommends a battery of tests, called a test protocol, that is designed according to the chronological and developmental age of the child. The test protocol will include otoscopy, a thorough case history, and several tests to determine the extent of a child’s auditory function.

Hearing tests help to answer the following questions:

1. Is the child’s hearing normal?
2. Is the child’s hearing loss medically treatable or a permanent hearing loss?
3. How much of a hearing loss is it?
4. How will the hearing loss affect the child’s ability to hear speech?