With the cooperation of Child Care centers, it is our goal to identify children and begin interventions that could prevent possibly years of lost language and brain development. Check out what hearing screenings look like in a SC child care program:
Beginnings SC will offer a comprehensive program including:
Director of Programs Mary Reaves discusses Beginnings SC's hearing screening program and other offerings during the 2021 SCAEYC Virtual Conference.
We provide services to families and professionals around South Carolina. Beginnings SC is shining light on the impacts of hearing loss on children and their families. We are making the invisible visible.
FAQs of Hearing Screening
We do not often get false positives. Our machine is calibrated as needed and our screeners are well trained. It is more likely that there is something preventing a pass result- but it does not always mean hearing loss. Many children fail one to two screenings as a result of fluid behind the eardrum - which may or may be infected.
This means that something was preventing all of the sounds emitted by the machine to travel through the listening system and get back to the machine uninterrupted. That can happen for a variety of reasons including wax, fluid behind the eardrum, an object in the ear canal (Mary had a child who failed twice who had a green bean in his ear canal) OR a hearing loss. That is the reason we stress the importance of following up with the provider.
No. Our screeners are not audiologists. However, they have been through extensive training and had on-site training from audiologists as well. We do have two pediatric audiologists who consult with our hearing screening program and are available for any concerns or needs our screeners have. The protocol we use, as developed by Utah State University and National Association for Hearing Assessment and Management, was designed for use and implementation by non-audiologists. That is the reason that multiple screenings are performed prior to referral.
Our protocol says that after we hear from you, we come back and screen your child a third time after they have been seen and cleared by a medical professional. At this third screening, we will perform the same test and notify you again, through a letter, if they fail or pass. If they fail, we will be referring you to a pediatric audiologist for a full hearing evaluation. We are available to help you through this process at any stage from helping you find one, to navigating insurance questions, to getting the referral from your pediatrician if your insurance requires this.
There can be many reasons a child with a history of ear problems could fail. It is possible that the problem has returned, or their tubes have fallen out. It is also possible that a long history of middle ear problems has resulted in a mild hearing loss from scarring. Mary will be happy to talk to you more about this and answer any questions you might have.