School Age Child Does No Pass - Next Steps
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) requires routine hearing screenings performed at specific grade levels. These screenings often take place at school. If your child does not pass the screening, the school nurse can refer you to an audiologist or to your child’s doctor. An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses and treats hearing and balance problems in people of all ages. The school or your family doctor will probably provide you with a list of audiologists so you can schedule a hearing evaluation. You could also find a pediatric audiologist (one who specializes in young children) through this directory organized by Ohio counties. The “hearing evaluation”, also called a “diagnostic hearing evaluation” is simply a more detailed test that can help determine if your child has a hearing loss.
If your child has a hearing loss, the audiologist will make a diagnosis identifying the cause of hearing loss. The audiologist will also provide you with information about communication, language, treatment options and next steps. All of these are discussed throughout this guide.
Treatment options may include tubes, surgery, or hearing assistive technology (HAT). We know these are new terms, so we will define them as we go.
If your child does have a hearing loss, you will interact with an audiologist throughout your child’s school career, both in the medical and educational settings. Audiologists perform a variety of assessments and evaluations throughout your child’s life and monitor your child’s hearing to determine if his or her hearing has changed and whether different or additional supports are needed. You can request the results of these assessments and evaluations. They will be needed in order for your child to receive services in and outside of school.
For services outside the school environment, remember to check with your insurance plan to find out about your family’s coverage. Some plans require that you get a doctor’s referral to see an audiologist.
Missing a hearing loss may affect a child’s language development, and also his or her educational achievement, literacy levels, and social-emotional development. So, following the recommendations from your doctor or school nurse, and following up with an audiologist is important for your child’s development.
Want more information about hearing screenings at school?
Visit Hearing Screening Requirements and Guidelines for more information.
Want more information about hearing evaluations and possible causes of hearing loss?
Visit KidsHealth.org to learn more.