Child care center partnerships bring free hearing screenings to youth

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     The most important time for development of speech, language and communication takes place within the first three years of life. A child’s ability to hear is critical for this development to take place.  While most infants are screened for hearing loss at birth, many do not undergo this critical screening. Unfortunately, many children develop hearing loss or never have another screening until after this period of development has passed.   

     Lutheran Social Services of South Central PA (LSS) and Sertoma Club of York have partnered to offer free hearing screenings for young children. The goal is to identify young children with a hearing loss that may interfere with the development of communication skills and/or educational performance so parents, child care administrators and educational professionals can take appropriate action to minimize the barriers to learning that hearing loss presents.  LSS invites York County child care centers to partner by offering these free hearing screenings to the children they serve.

     Satisfied client Michelle Behrens, director – Robin’s Best Daycare and Preschool, said:

“The staff and I are very excited to offer parents another great opportunity to better serve their children and their needs! This hearing screening could not have come at a better time. It is both convenient and efficient for our parents and students. Early intervention is key... We are grateful to have programs within our community which offer the support to provide such intervention!”

Participating child care centers will be asked to:

     •    Select a date and time to conduct the hearing screenings.

     •    Distribute and obtain a signed parental consent form for each child receiving a hearing screening.

     •    Provide a quiet room equipped with a table and chairs.

     •    Bring children to the designated screening room and return them to their classrooms.

     •    Distribute screening results letter to parents.

     Otoaccoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screening technology, a highly accurate test to detect hearing loss, is used to perform the screening.  Using the OAE hearing screening machine a trained volunteer checks the ear’s response to sound by placing a very sensitive microphone into the ear canal. OAE hearing screenings work extremely well for young children because they take less than a minute, are completely non-invasive and do not require the child to confirm or respond to the tones.   

     While the OAE screening is accurate, it is not a diagnostic tool.  Parents will be encouraged to share the screening results with their child’s healthcare provider for further review and action.

If your child care center is interested in offering free hearing 
screenings to the children you serve or would like additional information, 
please contact the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 717.852.4357.