Birds chirping in the trees. Fireworks exploding in the sky. A grandparent singing “Happy Birthday.” The sounds around us shape our view of the world and the people in it. An undiagnosed hearing deficit can limit a child’s perception of their home, friends, and family. The Boston Children’s Hospital Audiology Program is dedicated to identifying hearing loss in children and working with families to determine the best treatment plan.
Why choose Boston Children’s Audiology?
Boston Children’s Audiology has a team of more than 30 audiologists who specialize in caring for children with hearing loss and hearing differences. We provide a variety of diagnostic and habilitative services, including:
- diagnostic testing for hearing loss
- diagnostic testing for auditory processing disorders
- hearing aid fitting and maintenance
- cochlear implant selection, activation, and programming
- consultation for tinnitus, misophonia, hyperacusis, and other decreased sound tolerance issues
Enhancing hearing from birth through adolescence
All children born in Massachusetts should receive a hearing screening before discharge from the birth hospital. Boston Children’s has six diagnostic centers approved by the Department of Public Health to assess children who do not pass their newborn screening. Our infant hearing testing program is unique in that all testing is performed by an audiologist and the results reviewed by a second audiologist for accurate interpretation. Accurate diagnosis is imperative for optimal treatment. Infants born with hearing loss who receive hearing aids by 6 months of age develop language at the same rate as children with typical hearing.
About half of school-age children with hearing loss passed their newborn hearing screening. These children may not pass a hearing screening at their doctor’s office or school, or may have symptoms such as unclear speech or inconsistent responses to sound. Our expert team is able to assess children at any age using state-of-the-art equipment and specific techniques, such as visual reinforcement and conditioned play activities. If a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, the audiologist will work closely with the Department of Otolaryngology and Communications Enhancement team to provide the best recommendations for treatment and monitoring.
Our habilitation teams provide hearing aid and cochlear implant services to infants, children, and young adults, tailoring their approach for each of these age groups and their individual needs. Infants and young children may need frequent adjustments to the fit and programming of their devices as they rapidly grow. Older children may require compatibility with a remote microphone to improve auditory access to academic material. Teenagers are likely to benefit from Bluetooth technology that allows them to connect with their phones. The audiologists at Boston Children’s Hospital are trained to meet all these needs.
Our expert services are available in Boston, Waltham, Peabody, Lexington, Brookline, Weymouth, and North Dartmouth. We accept several insurance plans; however, please verify with your insurance plan that they cover diagnostic hearing assessments. Our services are not considered routine or screening and may not qualify under your annual hearing test benefit.
Please browse through the tabs on the left side of your screen to learn more about the services and resources available from our program. We look forward to working with you.