Infant Audiologic Assessment
Audiologists determine whether a child has a hearing loss using a diagnostic audiologic evaluation. Babies that do not pass their newborn hearing screening should have this evaluation no later than three months of age. Habilitation, including fitting amplification if chosen, and initiation of Early Intervention services should occur no later than six months of age.
What is the role of the audiologist in the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (NE-EHDI) Program?
- Completes initial diagnostic evaluation using a battery of physiological testing procedures (JCIH 2007).
- Reports the results of diagnostic audiologic hearing evaluation to the child's primary care physician, including information that an infant was not successfully tested after being referred for testing.
- Reports to the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program the names of all children who received a diagnostic evaluation and those who are not successfully tested after being referred for a diagnostic evaluation.
- Makes a referral to early intervention for children diagnosed with permanent hearing loss and reports the date of referral to the NE-EHDI Program.
- Provides parents with information about hearing and hearing loss, and communication and education options for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Fits children with amplification if chosen, including hearing aids or other assistive technology; refers for consideration of cochlear implant candidacy when appropriate.
How does an audiologist report to the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program?
Audiologists should submit the Diagnostic form for all babies and children seen for a diagnostic evaluation. Audiologic Screening and Diagnostic Report Form
How do I help families find support?
Nebraska Hands and Voices
Nebraska Hands and Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing without bias around communication modes or methods. They are a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.
PTI Nebraska is a statewide resource for families of children with disabilities and special health care needs.
- PTI Nebraska's staff are parent/professionals and are available to talk to parents and professionals about special education, other services and disability-specific information.
- PTI Nebraska conducts relevant, no cost workshops statewide.
- PTI Nebraska provides printed and electronic resources.
- PTI Nebraska encourages and supports parents in leadership roles.
The NE-EHDI Program Advisory Committee makes the following recommendations:
The audiologist should conduct a battery of tests that includes a case history, documentation of risk indicators for hearing loss, otoscopic inspection, evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) assessment, Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) assessment, and middle ear measures.
The approach to services should be family-centered by promoting family and professional partnerships, responding to needs, building on strengths and respecting the diversity of families.
The Advisory Committee strongly recommends that any audiologist accepting infants younger that six months of age for audiologic assessment should have the ability to complete the following procedures:
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
ABR threshold to frequency-specific stimuli for air and bone conduction.
ABR suprathreshold to click stimuli with varied rate and polarity.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
Transient-evoked (TEOAE) or distortion product (DPOAE) equipment capable of a variety of test parameters.
- Acoustic Immittance
Tympanometry using probe tones greater than 226 Hz
Acoustic reflex threshold
Behavioral audiometric test procedures that are developmentally appropriate.
* An otologic evaluation is also part of the assessment process but it may occur at a different facility and time.
The Audiologist should discuss the results with the family and report the audiologic assessment results to the infant's Primary Health Care Provider and the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. If a permanent hearing loss is identified, families should be given the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program's Parent Resource Guide.
Pediatric Audiology Clinics
Auburn Beatrice Columbus Fremont
Grand Island Hastings Lincoln Norfolk
North Platte Offutt AFB Omaha Scottsbluff
Wakefield West Point Wheatland Sioux Falls