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Audiology

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Audiology is the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and balance problems. We are experts in identifying and evaluating hearing loss in babies and young children, as well as teens and young adults. Our Audiology program provides a full range of hearing tests, and we offer complete rehabilitation services including hearing aids and FM systems at clinics in Seattle and Bellevue.

The first two years of life are the most critical for learning speech and language, and hearing loss that is not noticed can hurt your child's ability to learn these important skills. Helping children with hearing loss early in life can help them communicate for the rest of their lives.

Family Conversations is an early intervention program unique to Seattle Children's. The program focuses on the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth through age 3. Our specialists are trained in working with families of children who are young. They meet with your family each week in your home.

Children's advocacy program promotes health and safety for all children. We work with the Washington State Department of Health to support the Early Hearing Loss Detection, Diagnosis and Intervention (EHDDI) program.

 

Services We Offer

Behavioral hearing assessments

Behavioral hearing assessments measure how your child behaves in response to speech and other sounds. We offer behavioral hearing assessments for young people from 6 months to 21 years old. The assessments are tailored to your child's age and development. During these tests, we use speakers or earphones to play speech and other sounds to your child at varying levels. With younger children, we train your child to look toward the source of sound, and we observe their responses as we play the sounds. With older children and young adults, we ask patients to repeat the word or make a signal if they hear the speech or sounds.

Physiologic hearing assessments

Physiologic hearing assessments measure your child's physical response to quiet sounds. Newborn hearing screening tests are physiologic hearing assessments. We perform hearing screening tests for babies age 6 months and younger. We also use diagnostic physiologic hearing assessments as a way to diagnose hearing disorders in children at any age.

Hearing aid evaluation and fitting

Because our clinic only serves children, teens and young adults, we understand growing bodies. Our team is experienced in helping you and your child find the hearing aid that works best to meet your child's needs. We use evidence-based fitting strategies designed for children to make the fitting of your child's hearing aids as comfortable and precise as possible.

FM system evaluation and fitting

FM systems send sounds to the ears to help your child hear better, especially in noisy situations. They work by having a person, such as a parent or teacher, speak into a microphone. A transmitter sends the sounds from the microphone to a receiver, which may be built into your child's hearing aid or worn around the neck. Your child can use the system at school, at home or in public places. We can help you decide if an FM system is right for your child. We also assist in finding and fitting systems to best meet your child's needs.

Cochlear implants

Cochlear implants are small, electronic devices that can help provide deaf or hard-of-hearing children with a sense of sound. The implants have two parts: an external piece that sits behind your child's ear and an internal piece that is placed in your child's ear during surgery. Cochlear implants work by skipping damaged parts of your child's ear and using electronic signals made by the implant to stimulate the hearing nerve (auditory nerve). Read more.

Aural habilitation

Aural habilitation helps children with hearing problems improve their ability to hear and express themselves. At Children's, we offer many kinds of aural habilitation services. Read more. (PDF)

School visits and in-service training

If your child has a cochlear implant or is working with an FM system at school, we can visit the school and provide training onsite for school staff by special arrangement.

Family Conversations

Family Conversations is an early intervention program based at Children's that addresses the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth through age 3. Our specialists are trained in working with families of children who are young. They meet with your family each week in your home. We also organize regional playgroups for children, and provide group meetings for parents to help you learn about issues in raising a child who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. Read more.