When using good screening techniques, approximately 75% of young children (ages 0-3) enrolled in early childhood education programs can be expected to pass on both ears during the initial (OAE 1) screening. For children who "referred" or "could not be tested" on one or both ears, a second screening (OAE 2) should be conducted and
if the ear(s) in question "pass" at this point, the child's screening is complete.
About 8% of the total number of children screened are likely to have an ear or ears that "referred" or "could not be tested" during the OAE 2 screening. These children will typically be referred to a health care provider for diagnosis/treatment of possible middle ear conditions.
After clearance from the health care provider, an additional OAE Rescreen should be made on the ear(s)
in question, and if a "pass" is obtained, the child's hearing screening is complete.
Less than 1% of the total children screened will typically have an ear (or ears) that did not pass during any of the previously described screening attempts--these children must be referred to a pediatric audiologist for a comprehensive evaluation.
Also keep in mind that if a parent or other adult involved in a child's care expresses concerns about hearing or language development, the child should be referred for a comprehensive audiological evaluation regardless of "passing" OAE outcomes, because there are some less common types of hearing loss that OAE screening might not detect.