Communicate Screening Results
Have you ever wondered what to say to a parent when a child doesn't pass an Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screen? You want to let the parent know that it is important to follow up, but at the same time, you don't want to create undue stress or worry.
You know the parents you serve better than anyone else, but we thought it could be helpful to give you an idea of what you might say in a variety of situations.
Check out the new set of sample scripts
tailored to explain specific screening outcomes, and what needs to happen next, to families.
Here are two examples:
Script for Not Passing OAE 1
Script following Middle Ear Consultation when a condition or disorder was detected
Each year in Early Head Start, we screen every child's hearing, vision and development to see if there are concerns that may need additional attention. We use Otoacoustic emissions, or OAE, hearing screening to check your child's hearing. On <date> we screened <child name>'s hearing in each ear.
For this first screening, <child name> did not pass:
- in either ear.
- in the right ear but did pass in the left ear.
- in the left ear but did pass in the right ear.
This doesn't mean that <child name> has a hearing loss, but we do need to do another screening in two weeks. Many children pass this second screening but some need to go to the health care provider to check if there's a middle ear infection or other condition. Have you noticed if <child name> has been having any problems hearing or maybe has been having an ear infection? We'll let you know the results of the next screening right away. Do you have any questions?
Thank you for taking <child name> to see the health care provider for the middle ear evaluation as we recommended from the OAE hearing screening. From the report, it seems that the health care provider completed the <otoscopy / pneumatic otoscopy / tympanometry> exam and found a <condition / disorder>. What are the plans for treating this <condition / disorder>? When will <child name> see the health care provider again for follow-up?
We will be conducting another OAE hearing screening to check how well <child name>'s hearing is when the <condition / disorder> has been treated. Many children pass this next screening but some don't and need to see an audiologist to get a complete hearing test. We'll let you know the results of the next hearing screening right away and if any further testing needs to be done to check <child name>'s hearing. Do you have any questions?
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As you speak with parents, remember that you are explaining the OAE screening results and protocol, not providing diagnostic results, so detailed explanations of the ear, possible causes of hearing loss, etc., are beyond the scope of what you should say. However, discussing OAE screening results with parents is a good time to explore any concerns they may have about their child's hearing or speech.
You may have already found your own way to discuss OAE screening results with parents. If so, you may want to share that with us and others at:
And, as always, share www.KidsHearing.org with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.