May, 2014    

Probes & Tips header
Upcoming Events
ECHO Initiative

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New ECHO Webinar: 


Improving Hearing Screening Practices for Children Birth to Five Years of Age

This webinar is being offered on three different dates.  Please click on the links below to register:

Mon., May 12th, 2:00 p.m. EST


 Wed., May 14th, 2:00 p.m. EST 


 Mon., May 19th, 2:00 p.m. EST 


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ECHO Initiative
Links to Recorded Webinars

If you've missed any of our previous webinars, you can now click on the links below to watch a recorded
version of these webinars:

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Look for us at:

 the 2014 Birth to Three Institute:

Session Title: 

"Objective Hearing Screening: A critical step on the path toward
school readiness
in Early Head Start

Session Date:
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Session Time:
10:00 AM


Conference Website: 
New to 
OAE Screening? 

If your program is new to OAE screening,  
or if you have added new staff who need  
instruction on OAE 
screening practices,  
visit our 
 where staff can view instructional video  
modules and access the corresponding 

Quick Links


Find more helpful hints from previous issues of

 Probes and Tips 

and many other
resources at: 

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Tip of the Month
Improve Hearing Screening Practices with Children 3 - 5 Years of Age 

We know that many providers who serve children 0-3 years of age also serve children in the 3-5 age range. For this reason, the ECHO Initiative often receives questions about how hearing screening with preschool-age children should be conducted.


Some early childhood education programs use Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) screening with both age ranges.  For children 3 years and older, pure tone audiometric screening has been the traditionally accepted method. It is performed by placing earphones on a child's ears, presenting a series of tones to each ear and requiring the child to provide a behavioral response (like raising a hand or dropping a block in a bucket) each time a sound is heard. Pure tone screening equipment does not produce an automated result. Instead, screeners must be trained to complete a set of steps to teach a child to provide a consistent response each time a tone is heard.


A few of the most common errors and problems in conducting pure tone screening include:

  • Increasing the sound volume when screening in noisy environments.
  • Inadvertently providing visual cues that prompt children to respond.
  • Getting children conditioned to respond consistently.

As with any type of screening, it is critical that screeners adhere to specific procedures and a follow-up protocol. A comprehensive set of training materials for screeners is not yet available, but the ECHO Initiative has pulled together a preliminary set of pure tone screening resources that programs can use as they work with a local audiologist to improve their practices. We hope to be able to create and offer a complete set of training videos and tools in the months ahead.


It is also important to remember that pure tone screening can be particularly challenging for younger children in this age range, as well as for those who have developmental delays, physical limitations, or language barriers. For these children, it is very appropriate to conduct OAE hearing screening.


Celebrate May as Better Hearing & Speech Month by improving your hearing screening practices!

Probe of the Month
  Let us know what problems you have encountered or questions you have about pure tone screening.
Contact us at:  


  [email protected]    


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

 ECHO - Headstart

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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.