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If you suspect your child has a hearing loss, you are not alone. The idea of having a child with hearing impairment can be scary and the process may seem daunting, but we have the resources to help you and your child. What should you do if your child has special communication needs? What are the warning signs of hearing loss in children?
Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop communication, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start receiving services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. Below are a few simple developmental milestones. If you feel your child isn’t exhibiting these behaviors, it may be worth coming in for a simple hearing exam.
Your baby should react to loud sounds.
Your baby should babble in a speech-like way and use many different sounds.
Your baby should turn and look in the direction of sounds.
Your toddler should follow simple commands (“Roll the ball”) and understand simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”).
The evaluations that we do are designed with the understanding that children cannot be expected to complete complex commands and have incredibly short attention spans. Rest assured we know what we’re doing when it comes to our youngest patients.
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) allows hearing testing within the first days of life. Newborn screening is simple and painless, and can make a significant difference in a child’s future. OAE screening procedures for newborns and infants do not require the baby to respond. A miniature earphone is placed in the ear, sounds are played and an automatic response is measured. The normal ear responds with an echo that is picked up by the microphone. When a baby has a hearing loss, no echo can be measured. About 10% of babies do not pass the hospital OAE screening. Newborns that do not pass the hospital screening are typically referred for a follow-up audiologic evaluation. Although most babies will pass the follow-up hearing testing as a refer results is likely due to birth fluids or debris in the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, or movement and/or crying during the test, it is very important to take your baby for this testing to ensure they get the help they need should a hearing problem be present. If your child does not pass the follow-up hearing test, they may then be referred for more in-depth audiological and medical assessment before three months of age. These assessments will verify the presence of hearing loss and help identify options for treatment.
Once a child reaches the age of 6-7 months to 2+ years old, sounds are presented through a speaker or earphone and the child is trained to look toward the sound. When the child looks to the sound, they are reinforced by a moving toy or a flashing light. As children mature they may be asked to point to pictures in a book, body parts, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, fingers, or objects in the room.
As children get older, instead of turning to a light or moving toy, they can be taught to complete actions such as placing a toy in a bucket or completing a puzzle in response to sound. This helps us to get comprehensive results on young children by making our test feel like a game!
Our passion is to help our patients to hear better. Advanced diagnostic examinations allow us to determine the best plan of action to improve your hearing.
You’ve been told that your child needs to have their hearing checked. This can be a scary time. We understand how you’re feeling and you can rest assured all of your questions will be answered and your visit with us will be as stress-free as possible.
With our state-of-the-art, HIPAA compliant video-conferencing system, we are able to bring our services to you, right in the comfort of your own home. All you will need is a desktop computer, laptop computer, or smart phone. We are able to provide an array of different services. For more details (914) 588-8088
The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has generated understandable concerns in our community. Please be assured that the health, safety, and well-being of our patients, staff members, and their families is our top priority.
We are open and closely monitoring the evolving situation. We have taken additional precautions in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help minimize the spread of this virus, including:
We ask that any patients who feel ill please stay home and monitor their health. If you need to reschedule an appointment, please call us at (914) 588-8088.
As always, thank you for allowing us to assist with your communication needs.
Dr. Nancy L. Datino