Pediatric audiology is the study and treatment of hearing loss in infants, toddlers and children. Our experts evaluate and treat children of all developmental stages. Our goal is to detect and treat hearing loss in children as early as possible. Since our audiologists work closely with our ENTs, we can care for your child’s whole hearing health.
Hearing is essential for babies’ and young children’s social and cognitive development. It is especially important to treat deafness in children so that they can cultivate essential speech and communication skills during their early developmental years. This is why we focus on early detection and treatment of hearing loss.
We offer many of the same diagnostic services for children as we do adults. However, we recognize that children respond differently to testing and may have a lesser ability than adults to focus or respond to stimuli. We therefore incorporate a more fun and caring approach with children.
For children old enough to follow instructions and respond to sounds, we use testing methods made to feel like games, such as conditioned play audiometry and speech audiometry (word recognition). Physiological tests are used for infants who cannot respond to behavioral tests. These include otoacoustic emissions, acoustic reflex testing, auditory evoked potential testing and auditory steady state response. Our audiologists are able to recommend facilities that can provide these advanced diagnostic tests.
Approximately one out of every four children experiences a speech delay, though most eventually catch up without any sort of intervention. If your child’s doctor suggests there may be a significant speech delay, however, a speech-language pathologist should be consulted for a full evaluation. This involves a series of tests that will be used to assess your child’s receptive language skills, expressive language skills, sound development, speech clarity and oral-motor skills. Speech therapy may be recommended to help your child develop the skills necessary for effective communication.