The first three years of your child’s life is extremely vital for his growth and development. It is necessary to schedule regular medical screening, and you must consider pediatric hearing evaluations too. As the name suggests, pediatric hearing test is basically about determining if your child has any hearing issues, and the evaluation also comes in handy for speech pathologists to figure out if there are potential causes of something like delay in speech. Hearing issues, especially in young children, can be treated, and in many cases, also prevented, with early treatment. In most cases, doctors and pediatricians work with speech pathologists and audiologist to diagnose the issues, find symptoms and figure out a treatment plan.
The actual evaluation
As a parent, you have every reason to be concerned about pediatric hearing evaluation, but these are simple tests that doesn’t really demand a lot from the child. The purpose of the test is to determine how a child reacts to different kinds of auditory stimuli. Various kinds of screenings and tests can be selected, based on the age of the child. In some cases, the physician may ask you to wait, because the child may not be able to follow the instructions and directions of the audiologist.
The advanced tests
Today, there are advanced tests that are available for infants too. Your pediatrician is the best person to explain the same, but options include auditory brainstem response and tympanometry. Also, further sound pulse tests can be done to check for echoes. For the middle ear, acoustic reflexes can be used.
Can I prep my child?
It really depends. Your doctor will explain if the kid needs any briefing or prepping before pediatric hearing evaluations. In many cases, the kids are not even awake during the tests, but if your child needs to be in senses and must respond to directions, you may want to make him/her familiar with headphones and earphones. You can ask the pediatrician for a set of questions, which can be practiced at home, so the child doesn’t feel intimidated.
It is best to get a pediatric hearing evaluation done early on as a part of screening, but there are no fixed rules here. We would strongly recommend that you talk to your pediatrician about the same, and he may refer you to an audiologist. Sometimes, doctors may recommend a test because they are not happy as how the child is responding to sounds.