Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention
It is important to follow up with a hearing healthcare professional as soon as possible if your child does not pass their newborn hearing screening to either rule out hearing loss or immediately begin intervention services for your child.
The diagnostic follow-up test is called an auditory brainstem response (ABR) evaluation. An ABR looks at how well your child’s ears and the auditory pathway responds to different sounds. Your audiologist will clean the skin on your baby’s forehead and behind their ears to help the sensors adhere, place small earphones in their ears, and connect the sensors to a computer, from which the audiologist will watch for responses from your child’s hearing nerve.
To capture the most accurate information and results from an ABR, your child must be very still and quiet during the test, so it’s best if you do not let your child sleep 2 to 4 hours before the ABR evaluation so they’ll be more likely to fall asleep for the test.
How is the ABR completed?
The audiologist will clean part of your child's forehead and behind their ears with a small pad (this will help the electrodes stick).
The electrodes will be placed on these areas (The electrodes do not cause any pain - they are small stickers).
The audiologist will use a computer to determine your child's response to sound.
The appointment is scheduled for 2 hours. The ABR test itself does not take 2 hours to complete. The appointment will last the full 2 hours. We allow extra time in case your baby wakes up and needs to fall back asleep. This will also give us time to discuss the results of the evaluation.
If your child does not sleep long enough to complete the ABR testing, the ABR will be rescheduled for another day.
To learn more about the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test Instructions, click here.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Long before children learn to speak, babies learn language by hearing it. Ideally, your baby should wear their hearing aids and cochlear implants all the time when they are awake. Studies have shown the most important stage of language development occurs before age 3, and early intervention results in significantly better language ability for children with hearing loss. Here are several communication options. These results are most achievable in children who have early spoken language therapy and education, which is exactly what Texas Hearing Institute offers.
Newborn Hearing Screening in Houston, TX
All of our services are provided on a sliding fee scale and we accept most insurance and Medicaid plans.