Hearing Care for Children
Audiology Island is considered a premier provider in pediatric audiology. We provide hearing evaluations and rehabilitation services for infants and children of all ages and developmental levels. Our primary focus is on prevention, early detection and treatment of hearing loss in children. Hearing loss in children can often go unidentified or dismissed as a developmental delay, therefore early detection and intervention is paramount. We strive to give you and your child all of the information and support needed to make the best decisions regarding audiological monitoring and treatment options, including pediatric hearing aids from top manufacturers such as Phonak, Siemens and Oticon. We offer state of the art technology to improve hearing and aural rehabilitation therapy for your child’s transition through every stage, from the diagnostic hearing assessment to the educational consultations. We also offer custom ear protection, cochlear implant services, newborn hearing evaluations and auditory processing evaluations. We will take great care to outline the communication options that will be most suitable for your child. Your child will have access to the most advanced technologies and hearing aids for children coupled with our pediatric audiologist’s expertise and support.
First steps in evaluating your child for hearing loss:
- Welcome your kiddo and get them acclimated to our test booth and headphones. We want your child to see the audiologist is not a scary place, we are here to play some listening games! Sometimes the first appointment includes playing games and making sure your child is comfortable with us to proceed with testing. We have light up toys and hungry monkeys to keep your kiddo busy while we gain an idea of what your concerns are as a parent or guardian and why you are interested or were recommended to proceed with a hearing evaluation.
- Obtaining information can entail a few sessions, and this is completely normal! First we are looking to see that your child does not have wax build up in the ear canal. We also want to look for fluid or congestion in the middle ear. Next, we will evaluate how he/she responds to speech and different tones. Our tests include both objective and behavioral measures which serves as a check and balance to ensure the information we are obtaining is reliable and correct. Sometimes obtaining this information can take a few sessions, but it is important that our information is accurate and that you and your child are informed and comfortable about the process.
- Now we have determined your child does or does not have a hearing loss. What are the next steps?
- My Child Has a Fluctuating Hearing Loss. Follow up will include: frequent monitoring, medical intervention and possibly assistive listening devices.
- My Child Has a Permanent Hearing Loss. Pediatric hearing aids, aural rehabilitation and an educational component.
- My Child Does Not Have a Hearing Loss, but I Still Have Concerns About Their Listening Abilities (ages 7+). Auditory processing pre-evaluation followed by a comprehensive evaluation if red flags are discovered. SHould we find weaknesses in auditory processing, we do offer auditory training and therapy to help remediate your child’s difficulties.
- My Child does not have a hearing loss and I have no further concerns. We have ruled out hearing loss for your child and we are confident they have the auditory tools to develop speech and language. Should any other concerns arise, please feel free to contact us for another evaluation in the future.
Pediatric Hearing Aids and What Do They Cost?
Manufacturers that we recommend for pediatric hearing loss (Prices starting at $66.00 per month with 0% financing for 12 months):
- Oticon Sensei
- Phonak Sky- V
- Signia Pure; Motion & Insio
Auditory Processing Disorder
Information about Central Auditory Processing Disorder can often be confusing and misleading. Below, you will find some common myths and what you should actually know about Central Auditory Processing Disorder:
Common Myth: Central Auditory Processing Disorder is a hearing problem.
Fact: The act of hearing does not end with mere detection of an acoustic stimulus. Rather, several neurophysiological and cognitive mechanisms and processes are necessary for an accurate decoding of auditory input. Much of what is considered central auditory processing is preconscious; that is, it occurs without the listener being aware of it.
So how does this relate to your child?
Simply put, auditory processing is “what we do with what we hear.” And if there is something adversely affecting the process or interpretation of this auditory information as it travels through the auditory system, children will exhibit various weaknesses in their communicative environment (like at school or at home).
Common Myth: My child’s school and/or psycho-educational evaluation can be used to diagnose Central Auditory Processing Disorder.
Fact: Only an audiologist has the training and knowledge base necessary for comprehensive central auditory processing service delivery, theoretical underpinnings, and methods of practical application of scientific theory.
Appropriate equipment (such as a sound proof booth) is required for a full battery of tests that will need to be administered in order to diagnose Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Audiology Island is the only clinic on Staten Island that has a highly specialized protocol for diagnosis of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Following the evaluation process, you will meet with our central auditory processing specialists for an educational counseling session regarding your child’s results. During this session, different types of auditory deficit and how they manifest in your child will be discussed. This is a vital component prior to management options. Parents are the experts when it comes to their children. Understanding the medical jargon of reports is not easy, but sitting down with the doctor and going through the results will ensure the most individualized management plans and will provide the assistance that your child needs.
Common Myth: My child needs an FM system in the classroom as treatment for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.
Fact: Central Auditory Processing Disorder management should be viewed as a tripod. Without all three “legs” (environmental modifications, remediation activities, and compensatory strategies), the tripod cannot stand. At Audiology Island, we tailor each management plan to the child, based on the evaluation. The three vital components are always involved. Our remediation techniques include direct therapy approach, which is not available anywhere else on Staten Island. It is only through direct therapy that our neuroplasticity can be maximized and auditory performance can be improved.
Audiology Island is the only clinic on Staten Island to provide a direct therapy approach. We are very proud to utilize the Buffalo Model of Central Auditory Processing as designed by Dr. Jack Katz, who has been involved in the study of central auditory processing for over five decades. The success we have seen in the children we have worked with (ages five and older) has been tremendous. The following are just some of the outcomes reported by the families on Staten Island and in New York whose children have gone through therapy programs for Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Island:
- Improvement in reading comprehension
- Increased participation in class
- Decreased sensitivity to noise
- Improvement in the ability to focus
- Improvement in following multistep instructions
- Improvement in confidence levels
Common Myth: Children under seven cannot be evaluated for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.
Fact: In order for a child to read or spell, he or she must be able to detect and recognize sounds, discriminate them from other sounds, and understand how these sounds, when analyzed and synthesized, result in associated words.
Research indicates that identifying young children at risk for Central Auditory Processing Disorder as early as possible leads to intervention and support that can prevent later language, learning, and reading disorders. At Audiology Island on Staten Island, we evaluate a broad range of auditory skills in young children who are typically not formally tested in these areas yet could benefit most from early intervention.
The Ideal Reading and Language Intervention Program for Struggling Readers and English Language Learners
Fast ForWord is an evidence-based language and reading intervention program that uses a unique 3-step approach to deliver fast learning gains. The program was developed by world-renowned neuroscientists to target the root causes of language and reading difficulty directly. No other intervention does this. Once these underlying areas are addressed, learners’ reading and language skills improve quickly, and continue to improve even after they have completed using Fast ForWord.
- Dozens of online and mobile skill-building exercises for elementary and secondary school age learners
- Adaptive technology that adjusts delivery to meet the needs of each learner
- A digital guided reading tool that provides real-time corrective feedback as students read texts aloud
- Automated assessments to ensure continued learning growth
- Digital reporting to track reading and language skill development
At Audiology Island we are certified Fast ForWord providers. We believe this program is a great compliment to those students that have been struggling with auditory weakness and need improvement in reading comprehension. Our pricing is very competitive. Not only do we provide a full year license giving you the ability to get through the many programs within the battery but ongoing support with our doctors.
The Listening Program
Sound is everywhere, it is as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe, and the food we eat.
But, have you ever considered the impact of sound on your mental and physical health? Research shows that certain types of music can improve your health and brain performance. That’s what The Listening Program is about, improving your sound brain fitness. Our team of experts develops sound tracks of evidence-based music to improve your attention, memory, listening, creativity, and communication, while reducing stress, and enhancing your cognitive health, mood and sense of well-being. Positive and often life changing results in school, work, and home are common result from the program.
At Audiology Island we have been utilizing the benefits of the Listening program for 5 years. We are certified providers and have been incorporating this program as part of our Auditory Therapy. This music- based program has been shown to improve active listening in children and adults. It is designed to slowly build up tolerance to sounds, decrease frustration and improve active listening.
First module in a series, CAPDOTS-Integrated is a Dichotic Integration Listening Training Program used to treat CAPD, specifically binaural integration deficits (also referred to as auditory divided attention).
CAPDOTS-Integrated can be used on CAPD individuals from ages 5 years and older. It is being used successfully on those with learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism and head injuries. It is also uniquely appropriate for those with hearing impairment.
CAPDOTS™-Selected is a Dichotic Selection/Separation Listening Training program that is useful for those with binaural separation deficits and who fail or present with atypical interaural symmetries on Competing Sentences type tests.
The program presents dichotic stimuli at staggered onset times to favour the weaker (focus) ear. As training progresses, the timing differences decrease until they are presented simultaneously.
At Audiology Island we are certified providers and can provide CAPDOTS therapy. The convenience of a home based program while being supervised by a professional has been a tremendous benefit to our patients.
Interactive Metronome (IM) is an objective assessment and training tool that improves neural synchronization and function in children and adults who display impairments in cognitive, communicative, sensory, motor and/or academic/vocational performance. Training plans are individualized to meet the unique needs of each person.
At Audiology Island we are able to utilize the many benefits of this program to strengthen integration weaknesses. A program that can be done both in the office and/or in the home environment will be developed to meet the needs of your child.
iLs Integrated Listening System
Decoding, phonemic awareness, listening in a noisy environment and speaking clearly require efficient processing and storage of information. The goal is to train the ear and the brain to analyze and process sound more efficiently and accurately.
Through repeated exercises, iLs programs train one’s ability to:
- Discriminate similar sounding phonemes
- Process and differentiate rapid occurring speech sounds
- Improve inflection and rhythm in speaking and reading aloud
Bone/air conduction headphones deliver unique and efficient stimulation of the auditory and vestibular systems. Exercises in auditory figure ground, filtered words, repeating words and dichotic listening focus on skills related to auditory processing.
At Audiology Island we are happy to be providers of this therapy program. The unique features of the iLS Voice Pro System is a fun and effective way of strengthening various areas of the auditory system for children of all ages.
One on One Auditory Therapy
Based on the individual’s diagnostic profile, direct therapy techniques are used.
14-week program will concentrate on:
- Decoding problems – phonemic training, emphasizing individual speech sounds.
- Tolerance Fading Memory problems – Speech-in-Noise (SN) desensitization and Auditory Memory Training
- Auditory Organization problems – therapy for what we believe is the underlying problem: sequencing
- Integration problems – dichotic listening training and some non-auditory approaches are used to strengthen the auditory connections in the brain
Our approach to therapy is based on the Buffalo Model of APD and was designed by Dr Jack Katz, who has been involved in the study of central auditory processing for over five decades.
Children and Hearing
We provide personal and individualized treatment as premier pediatric audiologists. New York families can read more about our pediatric services and their benefits below.
Why choose a pediatric Audiologist? There are many reasons children benefit from seeing a health care expert trained specifically to care for pediatrics. It takes a health care team with the skill, knowledge, focus, experience and specialized training in pediatrics to be able to offer the very best care for kids.
Children are not tiny adults. It takes the discerning eye of a hearing health care professional who is highly experienced in caring for children to be able to make them comfortable in order to obtain an accurate hearing evaluation and implement the needed intervention.
Children and HearingKids are physiologically different than adults, therefore our health care team knows exactly how to use the right approach, both physically and from audiological perspective. And, of course, children communicate differently than adults, so we make certain we are able to answer kids’ questions and help them feel at ease.
With our team of highly specialized pediatric audiologists, New York and Staten Island families have access to hearing tests and evaluations for infants and children of all ages and developmental levels. Our primary focus is on early detection and treatment of hearing loss. We strive to give you and your child complete information and support for making the best decisions about treatment options, technology to improve hearing, and communication options. Your child has access to the most advanced technologies and expert services including diagnostic hearing assessment and educational consultation.
METHODS OF TESTING Your child’s quality of life and development vitally depend on hearing. Hearing helps your child learn to read, to appreciate music and to receive warnings of approaching harm. Your child will have difficulty coping with many of life’s challenges and opportunities without good hearing. Many modern methods can accurately determine the hearing of a newborn, infant or child. A comprehensive hearing assessment can be completed at any age if there is any suspicion that a hearing problem exists. A case history and otoscopic examination are essential. An audiologic evaluation can help determine if a hearing loss exists in one or both ears at frequencies (pitches) that are critical to normal speech and language development, and if any hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural. Below are some of the audiological procedures that may be included in the evaluation process:
- Conventional Audiometry — The audiologist presents tones at different pitches and loudness levels and the child’s responses are observed and recorded. Speech stimuli are also used and responses are observed and recorded.
- Behavioral Observational Audiometry (BOA) — The audiologist observes changes in behavior, such as sucking pattern, widening eyes, or searching for sound in response to various stimuli.
- Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) — The audiologist uses behavioral conditioning to train your child to respond to sounds presented through a speaker system. Reinforcement is provided immediately by activating a toy that lights up and moves.
- Play Audiometry — The audiologist teaches your child to respond with some action, such as holding a block to the ear and placing it in a bucket whenever a sound is heard.
- Tympanometry — This test measures the movement of the eardrum and the ability of the middle ear to conduct sound to the inner ear.
- Acoustic Reflexes — In a normal ear, the stapedius muscle in the middle ear contracts in response to loud noises at about 70-100 dB (decibels).
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) — A probe in the ear canal measures echoes from the inner ear in response to sound. A normal cochlea creates its own sound in response to sound coming into the ear. If no response is observed, a hearing loss may be present.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) — Electrodes are placed on your child’s head to pick up the brain’s responses to sound directly. No voluntary response is necessary, so it is often used with infants and very young children. It can even be done while the child is asleep. Audiological management is crucial for children who have a history of otitis media and accompanying hearing loss. A multi-disciplinary approach, which may include the primary care provider, pediatrician, ENT physician and speech-language pathologist, should be used. These children should receive periodic hearing evaluations by a licensed audiologist even when they appear to be symptom-free. In particular, hearing assessment should be completed at the onset of the school year for preschool and elementary students, and at least once during the winter months.
If your newborn did not pass a newborn hearing screening in either one or both ears, it is recommended that your baby receive one follow up re-screening by 1 month of age. If your newborn did not pass a second hearing screening after hospital discharge, it is then recommended that your baby receive a diagnostic evaluation prior to 3 months of age. Also, parents are often good judges of their children’s hearing status. If you suspect hearing loss or if your child has any of the risk factors listed below, then a pediatric hearing test is strongly recommended. In addition, if speech and language delay is present, then a hearing test for kids is also highly recommended.
There are many online hearing tests available today, however when it comes to hearing test for kids, we recommend to visit audiologists specializing in pediatric audiology.
Yes! No child is too young to have a hearing test. We recommend visiting audiologists that specialize in children’s audiology. Even a newborn can undergo hearing testing. Hearing levels of children are evaluated using either “behavioral” test methods or “physiologic” test methods. Behavioral test methods require the child to respond in some manner to different sounds. Physiologic test methods rely on technology to evaluate different parts of the hearing system without a behavioral response from the child. However, physiologic measures do require that the child be quiet and still or even asleep during testing. Often, a combination of behavioral and physiologic techniques is used.
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Most parents anxiously await their baby’s first word, and how exciting it is to hear “Mama” or “Dada” for the first time! Your child’s development of speech and language skills is dependent upon normal hearing. Children learn to talk by imitating what they hear. Most experts agree that the human brain comes “pre-programmed” to develop speech during the first three years of life. This is a critical time for your baby to hear well. If your child shows signs of speech and language delay or has a history of ear infections, call our office and our pediatric audiologists will be able to evaluate your child and answer all your questions regarding hearing loss in children.