Testing & Screening

The Potomac Audiology Difference

Potomac Audiology offers hearing diagnostics, audiological evaluations and hearing aid fittings for newborns, infants, and children with hearing loss, to provide them with the best hearing solution and quality of life. Dr. Tricia Terlep specializes in pediatric audiology, offering extensive experience in evaluating and treating the hearing abilities of infants and children. Her dedication and expertise assists you in finding the best hearing solution for your child.

Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA)

CPA is a variation of traditional audiometric testing designed to be used with children about two to four years of age. This form of testing may be performed using insert earphones or in the sound booth using calibrated speakers. The child is given a small block and is told to hold it up to his/her ear. The child is instructed to listen carefully for the beeping sound and to quickly put the block in the bucket once it is heard.

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)

VRA is a method of performing puretone audiometry used with children from about six months to 30 months of age. When performing VRA, the child is seated within a sound-treated booth equipped with interactive toys situated to either side of the child. When a child hears a sound, they will look in the direction of that sound. The toys serve as the visual reinforcement and are used to condition the child to look in the direction in which the sound is heard.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

ABR is a method of testing that gives information regarding the inner ear and brainstem pathways. ABR is beneficial for children, those patients that have difficulty with conventional methods of testing, or for evaluating the integrity of the auditory neural pathways. The ABR is completed by connecting electrodes on the head and will record brain wave activity in response to sounds.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)

OAEs serve as a hearing screening for newborns, children, and adults. OAEs are completed by inserting a probe microphone into the ear canal. A sound is introduced into the ear canal and a response to that sound is measured. The response is a small echo of the sound generated by the inner ear. The presence of the response indicates that the inner ear structures are developed and working properly.

What is APD?

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a neurological defect that affects how the brain processes spoken language. This makes it difficult for the child to process verbal instructions or even to filter out background noise in the classroom.

There’s no clear agreed-to definition of Auditory Processing Disorder, but there seems to be agreement on these points:

  •  There is a breakdown in receiving, remembering, understanding, and using auditory information.
  • Hearing ability is adequate.
  • There is a neurological basis.
  • The child’s ability to listen is impaired.

A child with Auditory Processing Disorder can often have the same types of behavioral problems as a child with ADD (attention deficit disorder). It’s easy to see, however, that using the techniques appropriate for an ADD child will not be very effective with a child suffering from auditory processing issues, who can have very specific auditory skills needing to be developed.

Behaviors Seen in Children with APD:

  • Listening (noticed for a period of time)
  • Mishearing/discrimination problems
  • Problems following directions
  • Problems attending to oral messages
  • Distracted by background noises
  • Poor organization of verbal material
  • Oral and written expression problems
  • Remembering what they hear
  • Learning to read

Common Signs of Learning Disabilities

The good news about learning disabilities is that scientists are learning more every day. Their research provides hope and direction.

If parents, teachers, and other professionals discover a child’s learning disability early and provide the right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed to lead a successful and productive life. A recent National Institutes of Health study showed that 67 percent of young students who were at risk for reading difficulties became average or above average readers after receiving help in the early grades.

Parents are often the first to notice that “something doesn’t seem right.” If you are aware of the common signs of learning disabilities, you will be able to recognize potential problems early. The following is a checklist of characteristics that may point to a learning disability. Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal. If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider the possibility of a learning disability.

Grades K-4
Grades 5-8
High School Students and Adults
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