How Are Kids Tested?

The Doctors of Audiology at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic knowyour child may be anxious about attending doctor’s appointments. This section has been created to help ease those nerves and allow you to better understand the tests that your child may undergo.

  • 0 to 6 months

    Two tests are commonly used for the 0-6 month population.
    The staff at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic will let you know which will be most effective for your child’s needs

    Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
    Testing Process: A tiny probe is placed in your child’s ear canal. Numerous pulse-type sounds are introduced, and an “echo” response from the outer hair cells in the inner ear are recorded. The recordings are then averaged by a computer and calculated to estimate your child’s hearing status. This test requires your child to be still and quiet during data collection.

    How long does the test take? Approximately 30 minutes

    Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
    Testing Process: Surface electrodes will be placed on your child’s head (much like electrodes for an EKG or EEG) to measure the response of the hearing nerve to sound at the level of the brainstem. Click-type sounds are introduced while the electrodes measure the hearing nerve’s response. A computer averages these responses and displays waveforms that are compared to normative data for your child’s age range and hearing status is estimated from this data.

    How long does the test take? Approximately 60 – 90 minutes

    How to Prepare for the appointment: During either test it is important that your child be asleep through the test. Please schedule this testing during his or her natural sleeping time. The following recommendations will also help lead to a successful testing session:

    • Dress your child in comfortable clothes to help him/her sleep better during the test. Useful items to bring include: blankets, pacifier, extra formula, diapers, etc.
    • Wake your child up earlier than usual the morning of the test. Your baby should not be allowed to nap from that time onwards (even during the car ride to the appointment).
    • Please do not feed your child (including a bottle) for at least two hours prior to the test. You will be able to feed your child just before the testing begins.
    • Whenever possible, please do not bring other young children/siblings to the appointment. Your baby may feel most comfortable in your arms during the test it may not be possible to watch after other young children.

    If you have any questions regarding these instructions, please contact one of our audiologists.

  • 6 to 24 months

    Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
    Testing Process: This test is conducted in a sound proof room. Your child will be seated on your lap, in a chair between two speakers. The audiologist will present your child with a sound. When your child looks toward the source of the sound, they are rewarded through the activation of an animated sequence. Your child’s attention will be brought back to the center of the booth, and once again the sound will be activated, followed by the reward. Once your child’s behavior has been conditioned the intensity of the sound can be decreased to determine the softest sounds your child can hear across a pitch range important for speech and language development.

    If the child will tolerate wearing headphones, hearing can be assessed in each ear individually.

    How long does the test take? Approximately 45 minutes

    How to Prepare for the appointment: This test is best performed during a time of day when your child is the most happy and alert. Please make sure your child is well rested, fed, and content.

  • 24 to 36 months

    Play Audiometry
    Testing Process: This test is conducted as a listening game. Your child will be tested in a sound proof room and presented with sounds either through headphones or speakers. Your child will be asked to perform fun tasks such as identifying pictures or placing blocks in a container as a way of measuring his/her hearing status.

    How long does the test take? Approximately one hour

    How to Prepare for the appointment: This test is best performed during a time of day when your child is the most happy and alert. Please make sure your child is well rested, fed, and content.

  • 3 years and above

    Conventional Testing
    Testing Process: This process is the same testing conducted on adults and older children. This test consists of listening to tones, through headphones and a special headband called a bone conductor. The child responds to the tones by raising a hand or pushing a button. This comprehensive test allows us to evaluate hearing status and if hearing loss is present determine the type and degree of impairment. This test also includes a speech discrimination test that consists of word repetition and recognition.

    How long does the test take? Approximately 45 minutes

    How to Prepare for the appointment: This test is best performed during a time of day when your child is the most happy and alert. Please make sure your child is well rested, fed, and content.

*Please contact Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic for specific testing requirements. Depending on your child’s physical, developmental, and intellectual capabilities, testing may vary.