Click any of the sections below to learn about our Pediatric Diagnostic Services.
Some of our measurements are physiologic. These are objective tests that measure what is going on in the ear without requiring responses from the child. These include “Otoacoustic Emissions” – the technology used in the newborn nurseries to screen for hearing loss. A tiny plug is placed in the child’s ear canal, a sound goes in and a response comes back from the cochlea – the sensory part of the inner ear. It is quick and easy.
Another physiologic measurement is Tympanometry. It’s also quick and easy, and tells us if the middle ear and Eustachian tube are functioning well.
The remainder of the basic hearing test is behavioral. Sometimes we simply observe how the baby responds to a variety of sounds while sitting on the parent’s lap. We note localization towards the sound, vocal responses, or even changes in sucking patterns. For toddlers we can often get a complete “audiogram” by making the test into a “put the block into a box” game. Children not ready to speak can often point to toys when asked. The trick is to tailor the test to each child’s ability.
When there is concern about the hearing status we sometimes do a test called “auditory brainstem response test.” This is another physiologic test that tracks how sounds create impulses that travel along the hearing nerve.
Many children are referred to us because they are not developing speech and language as expected. It is important to be sure that ear or hearing problems are not contributing to a delay in speech. We review our findings with the parents, and send complete reports to the referring physician or early intervention program.
If a child does have a hearing loss, early diagnosis and intervention is tremendously important to ensure strong language, academic and social skills without unnecessary delays. We know more today about helping children with hearing loss than ever before. Technology has blossomed, and great support services are available to be sure each child reaches his or her full potential.
Remember that no one knows your child like you do. If you are in any way concerned about your child’s hearing or listening behaviors, check it out. You are your child’s best advocate.
In school, children with APD may have difficulty with spelling, reading, and understanding information presented verbally in the classroom. Often their performance in classes that don’t rely heavily on listening is much better, and they typically are able to complete a task independently once they know what is expected of them. However, it is critical to understand that these same types of symptoms may be apparent in children who do not exhibit APD. Therefore, we should always keep in mind that not all language and learning problems are due to APD, and all cases of APD do not lead to language and learning problems. APD cannot be diagnosed from a symptoms checklist. No matter how many symptoms of APD a child may have, only careful and accurate diagnostics can determine the underlying cause.
To diagnose APD, the audiologist will administer a series of tests in a sound-treated room. These tests require listeners to attend to a variety of signals and to respond to them via repetition, pushing a button, or in some other way. Other tests that measure the auditory system’s physiologic responses to sound may also be administered. Most of the tests of APD require that a child be at least 7 or 8 years of age because the variability in brain function is so marked in younger children that test interpretation may not be possible.
Once a diagnosis of APD is made, the nature of the disorder is determined. There are many types of auditory processing deficits and, because each child is an individual, APD may manifest itself in a variety of ways. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the type of auditory deficit a given child exhibits so that individualized management and treatment activities may be recommended that address his or her specific areas of difficulty.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) expand the functionality of hearing aids by helping you separate the sounds you want to hear from background noise, and by enabling you to hear when the speaker is more than a few feet away.
The speaker talks into a microphone, and the speech is sent straight to your ear, thus avoiding the degrading effects of noise and distance on speech intelligibility.
Bluetooth: More hearing aids are equipped to allow for gateway devices that enable digital audio streaming from Bluetooth devices to the hearing aid. If you enjoy Bluetooth-enabled audio devices, such as cell phones, TVs, or computers, you will probably want to check this out.
T-coils: T-Coils allow individuals to access to induction loop systems. An induction or hearing loop system gives off a magnetic field, eliminating the need for any receiver other than your t-coil located within your hearing aid. Using a t-coil and hearing loop together is seamless, cost-effective, unobtrusive, and wireless. You don’t have to obtain extra equipment.
Why use custom ear molds?
- to protect hearing from hazardous environments (airport workers, landscapers, construction personnel, demolition crews)
- to better tune in to music, computers, or gaming devices
- for shooting environments – protects form muzzle blasts
- for swimming – to ensure inner ears remain dry
- for sleeping – assures peace and quiet
- to replace existing hearing aid molds due to damage
The Hearing Center at Montefiore provides a specific range of services, including hearing aid evaluation and recommendations; hearing aid fittings; and assistance in selecting hearing aid supplies and batteries that meet your specific needs.