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February, 2011                                    Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative

Look for ECHO Initiative workshops and presentations
at conferences this month!

See below for details...

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Introduce Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Hearing Screening
to Health Care Providers

One question asked frequently by parents and early childhood education providers is, "Isn't hearing screening already being done by health care providers as part of regular well-child visits?"  The answer to that is "No, not usually."  Early Head Start is therefore leading the way in demonstrating that reliable hearing screening can and should be implemented with children 0 - 3 years of age.

Health care providers typically check for middle ear problems (using otoscopy or tympanometry), but they rarely have the OAE equipment needed to conduct objective hearing screening with infants and toddlers.  Most children in the U.S. receive an objective hearing screening at birth, but the majority are not screened again until they enter school. This means that many children with hearing loss remain undiagnosed during the critical, language-learning years.  Children who do receive OAE screening as a part of their participation in Early Head Start are thus receiving a valuable service that is not readily available to many other children across the country. 

Although not currently standard practice, some health care providers are beginning to consider the potential value of conducting OAE screening during well child visits.  Procedure and Diagnosis codes for billing/reimbursement are already in place to support OAE screening.  Training materials  are also available to assist health care providers and audiologists in implementing OAE screening in health care settings.


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Explaining OAE Screening Protocol
to Health Care Provider

Have you reached out to local health care providers to discuss the possibility of incorporating OAE screening into well-child visits, so that more young children across the U.S. could potentially receive the benefits of periodic hearing screening?


If so, please share your experience by
e-mailing us here.

Look for us at these Conferences!

Region IV Head Start Association 2011 Annual Training Conference,
Feb. 9th

2011 Annual
EHDI Conference, 
February 21st

Quick Links

Find more helpful hints from previous issues of
Probes & Tips

and many other resources at

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Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS
to enhance early childhood 
hearing screening and follow-up practices
 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.

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