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Hearing Assessment

ihp7.jpgA hearing assessment is a more detailed follow-up to the newborn hearing screening.  It is very important to attend this appointment, as this is the test that will confirm if the baby has a hearing impairment.

An audiologist, who is a specialist in hearing assessments, will do the testing and is specially trained by the IHP. Several tests will be done during the assessment and this can take up to two hours to complete. 

It is possible that a second visit may be necessary so that all the testing can be completed. The tests are painless and will not harm the baby in any way.

It is very important that some simple guidelines are followed to help prepare the baby for the hearing assessment. 

Since the baby must sleep for most of the tests, it is recommended:

  • to keep the baby awake for a few hours prior to the test so that he/she will arrive tired and ready to sleep;
  • to have a companion that can keep the baby awake, if travelling by car;
  • that the baby arrive at the hearing assessment hungry. The baby can be fed just before the test starts and this will help him/her fall asleep more easily.

If the baby is not prepared for the test and does not sleep, it will be necessary to return on another day so the testing can be completed. This will cause further delay in determining the baby’s hearing ability so it is very important to do everything possible to make sure the baby is well prepared on test day.

If your baby has a hearing impairment

Once the baby has had a complete hearing assessment by an IHP audiologist, the results are discussed with the family. If the baby is found to have a hearing impairment, the audiologist will explain the details of the hearing impairment, which would include:

  • the type of hearing impairment;
  • the sounds the baby is able to hear;
  • the sounds the baby might not hear;
  • how the hearing impairment may affect the development of language.

The audiologist will also discuss some of the supports and services that are available to the family. At this point, the audiologist may suggest that a meeting with the Family Support Worker. 

It is important to keep in mind that although the news of a hearing loss may be troubling, when it is found early there is more time to take advantage of all the services available. Most deaf and hard of hearing children whose hearing impairment is identified early, and who receive the support and services they need, will develop language.