October, 2012  

Probes & Tips header
Upcoming Events

Look for us at the 2012 ASHA Conference

Nov 15-17, 2012

Atlanta, GA:  


"OAE Hearing Screening in Early Childhood Programs"  


* * * * * * * * * 

 ECHO Initiative Coffee Break Webinar:  

Coffee Break Logo  

Hearing Loss
in Young Children


Undetected hearing loss impacts a young child's cognitive, linguistic and social-emotional development. To identify

a child's hearing loss,
an objective hearing screening is the important first step, followed by an audiological evaluation.
But what do all of those terms, for example, sensorineural and tympanometry, mean?


Tuesday, Nov. 13th
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Time

 Click Here to Register  

Quick Links


Find more helpful hints from previous issues of

 Probes and Tips 

and many other
resources at:  


New Staff?

  Screeners checking equipment(2)

 If you have new staff who need to learn about your OAE screening practices, remember to share our  website with them:  

Screeners checking equipment

In particular, 
have them view the
followed by the


Then, spend some time screening with them as they develop their screening skills.

masthead 3-green


Join Our Mailing List  


Tip of the Month
OAE Hearing Screening
in Home Settings

Most tips for successful screening are applicable to 
all settings. However, screening in home environments can present specific challenges.  Screeners will need to be able to find appropriate ways to take charge of the environment and elicit the assistance of family members.

Environment:  It may be necessary to take steps to limit noise in the home.  That might include requesting that music be turned off or the volume on the TV be turned down.  (Allowing the child to watch the visual images on TV or a computer monitor can be an effective screening strategy!)  A screener may need to ask that noisy air conditioning units be turned off, or that individuals in the room limit their conversation.
It does not have to be completely quiet, but the screening will go more quickly if sources of loud noise have been eliminated.  Likewise, it might be necessary to request that windows be closed if there is significant noise outside, such as automobiles, barking dogs, etc.  Family memScreener Explainsbers will usually be glad to comply with requests if they understand that it will help create a good screening environment.  



It is ideal to conduct OAE screenings relying solely on battery power.   However, if you are using a piece of equipment that can be operated while plugged into an AC outlet, as a backup strategy be sure to include a 3-prong to 2-prong converter in your screening kit because some homes do not have 3-prong outlets. 

Assistance of Family Members:  Sometimes the screening will be accomplished quickly and easily  without involving family members.  For example, if the child is already playing wit
h toys on the floor, it may be best to simply join the child there, engage in play for a moment or two so that the child Screening on Floorfeels comfortable with your presence, then insert the probe and begin the screening.  Sort of a "no big deal" approach!

It may also be enough to simply ask a parent, or even an older sibling, to comfortably hold the child on their lap while the screening is conducted.

In this case, you'll probably want to ask the "assistant" to engage the child's attention with a quiet toy and likewise help keep the child's hands engaged.  You may need to provide a little more explicit instruction as well.  For example, you may need to tell the caregiver in advance that it's best to introduce the screening to the child as a fun game.  If a young child hears an adult say "it won't hurt" what he or she may hear is "hurt!"  A "listening game" sounds less threatening to a child than a "hearing test" or "screening." 

Other strategies could include:

  • Testing an older sibling's ears first. 
  • Using the parent as a model by holding the probe near the parent's ear and saying something like "we are going to let your Mom hScreening Toyear the birds, then you'll get a turn, too!"  (Do not actually place the probe in the adult's ear.) 
  • Playing a game by pretending to screen a stuffed animal or a doll's ear before attempting to screen the child. 
  • Finding out in advance when the child will be napping; arriving at the home and screening while the child is still sleeping.  A variation on this idea is that if a particular child is likely to fall asleep while in a car, you could ask the parent if it is possible to take the child for a short car ride prior to your arrival and to meet them while the child is sleep in the car seat. 

Stay tuned for more ideas about screening in home settings in future Probes & Tips newsletters! 


Probe of the Month

Let us hear about home hearing screening ideas that have have worked for you at:




And, as always, share www.KidsHearing.org with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.     

 ECHO - Headstart

ncham logo
2615 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322

Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS

to enhance early childhood hearing screening and follow-up practices and PROBES

 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.