December, 2016      

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ECHO Initiative 
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New LIVE Webinar

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017
 1:00 p.m. ET

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New Training

Four Sessions :
Feb. 6, Feb. 9, Feb. 13, and Feb. 16
1 p.m. EST
 Click here for more information

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ECHO Initiative Presentation

Audiology 101:
 Introduction to Audiology for Non-audiologists Working in and Supporting EHDI Activities 

Monday, February 27, 2017

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Atlanta, GA 

ECHO Initiative
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Tip of the Month
Coordinate Follow-up After Hearing Screening
As described in detail in the Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screening protocol, when early care and education program staff have screened a child on two separate occasions and the child has not passed, the individual overseeing the hearing screening program will need to work closely with the child's parents and Health Care Provider (HCP) to coordinate timely follow-up.  Most children who are evaluated/treated by the HCP will pass a subsequent OAE Rescreen, but the few who do not will need to receive an audiological evaluation from a Pediatric Audiologist. 

Because diagnosing and treating a child's hearing problem may require the expertise of more than one professional, here are effective ways to coordinate follow-up efforts:  
  • Inform parents verbally or in writing that the child did not pass the hearing screening and will therefore need to see the HCP. Convey clearly that the screening results do not mean that the child has a hearing loss, but they do indicate a potential problem that needs immediate attention.   
  • Let the HCP know in writing why the child is being referred for a middle ear evaluation. Help the parents set up an appointment and provide reminders as necessary.
  • After the evaluation, find out what the HCP's diagnosis and treatment plan is. If no outer or middle ear disorder is identified, an OAE Rescreen can usually be conducted immediately after the consultation. If treatment for a middle ear condition is required, however, wait and conduct the Rescreen when the HCP indicates the middle ear is clear. For certain conditions, the HCP may also have to refer the child to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. 
  • Be aware that most HCPs
    and ENTs will
    bTympanometrye assessing the child's outer and middle ear. They do not routinely conduct OAE screening, however, so when they have completed any needed treatment, the early care and education program staff will have to conduct a third OAE
    screening to check inner ear functioning.
  • No further action is needed if the child passes the OAE Rescreen. For any child who does not pass, a prompt referral must be made to a Pediatric Audiologist for a complete evaluation. The individual coordinating the early care and education screening program will need to talk with the Audiologist after the evaluation to find out if a permanent hearing loss is present and what additional services might be required.
  • If a permanent hearing loss is diagnosed, the early care and education program will also want to be sure that the State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program and local Early Intervention or Special Education program providers are informed, and are connecting the child and family with vital services. 
The coordination process described above is also applicable for programs that are using Pure Tone screening with children 3 - 5 years of age. Remember that the majority of children will simply pass the initial OAE or Pure Tone screening on both ears and will not require follow-up. For the small number who do, however, parents and other professionals will appreciate the competent coordination that knowledgeable early care and education staff bring to the table.   
Probe of the Month
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Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS

to enhance early childhood hearing screening and follow-up practices and PROBES

 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.