Pediatric Audiology Services
Our goal is to provide outstanding hearing healthcare to patients and their families in a warm, supportive environment. We work with typically-developing children and children with special needs such as global developmental delays, autism, sensory integration dysfunction, and craniofacial abnormalities. Our audiological consultations, analysis and treatment are highly individualized to meet your child’s and family’s needs.
Audiological Intake and Hearing Tests
We offer a broad range of testing and evaluation services for infants, children and teenagers.
Our initial pediatric hearing consultation includes completion of a detailed related history. Based upon observation and intake, we determine the appropriate methods of testing. Diagnostic testing for younger children occurs in a child-centered testing space with age-appropriate toys and games. For children under the developmental age of 5, two audiologists are always present. The parent is encouraged to stay in the room with the child, and testing moves with the flow of the child. For children over 5, the parent may choose to observe in the audiology suite or relax in the waiting room. Initial testing is scheduled for an hour, so that no one is rushed.
Counseling, questions, referrals, written reports and follow-up are provided after the testing, as needed. We discuss results and recommendations in a professional, non-judgmental manner.
If needed, hearing aids and accompanying FM systems can be ordered and fitted. Modifications to the child’s home and school environment may also be suggested. We will work directly with the child’s school to ensure that appropriate academic support is present, classroom modifications are made, and amplification (hearing aids) or FM systems are implemented into the classroom. We work with other pediatric specialists; and, as needed, reach out to those disciplines in order to have access to outstanding professionals and to provide up-to-date information to families.
Pediatric Audiology Information:
- Who should see a pediatric audiologist? If you, your pediatrician, or other pediatric specialists suspect delayed speech, questionable hearing, or auditory processing deficit, you should consider seeing a pediatric audiologist. Pediatric audiologists have an expertise in determining the most accurate and efficient method for assessing your child's hearing. A pediatric audiologist makes the process fun and engaging based on their understanding of your child. Any child with special needs, or with possible hearing or auditory processing deficits, should only be evaluated by a pediatric audiologist.
- Hearing loss in children. Hearing and speech are essential tools of learning, playing, and of many social interactions. Children learn to communicate by imitating the sounds they hear. If hearing loss occurs, this can dramatically affect language and communication, as well as social and academic skills.
Fortunately, most hearing loss can be helped with hearing aid technology and early intervention. This will give your child the best chance for successful speech and language development. Hearing loss is either congenital (present at birth) or acquired (occurring after birth). Your pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, pediatric otolaryngologist or audiologist are the professionals qualified to discuss causes and intervention.
- About hearing aids. Hearing aids are devices that make sounds louder. All hearing aids are now manufactured with digital technology, so sound quality is excellent. The latest developments in digital technology allow the audiologist to adjust the hearing aid's frequency response to specifically meet the needs of the hearing loss. Younger children require behind-the-ear hearing aids. A behind-the-ear hearing aid is comprised of 2 pieces—the actual hearing aid and the earmold. The earmold is re-made approximately every 6 months because the child's ear changes due to growth.
Earmold replacement is a relatively inexpensive process. For adults and older children, the hearing aid can be fit in the ear, if appropriate. With the advent of blue tooth technology, many hearing aids for older children can be coupled with cell phones, computers, and iPods to improve hearing with these devices. Hearing aids can easily be coupled with an FM system to improve the signal to noise ratio in the classroom and at home.
- Swim Molds. Swim molds can be custom made to fit your child. Swim molds prevent water from getting into the ear canal. The molds are particularly important when a child has PE tubes because it prevents the water from entering into the tubes.
- Noise Protection molds. These products dampen or soften loud sounds. They are particularly important for children with sensory integration dysfunction. Children with sensory integration dysfunction are often hesitant to go to parties, movies, or any other place that has a lot of noise. Noise protection molds dampen the loud sounds and allow the child to participate in activities. Noise protection molds are also important for young adults who play in bands. They should have their hearing monitored annually and they should use the molds during all practice sessions. The attenuation of the mold can be specified to the mold manufacturer.