First clinical update on hearing tests from the AAP since 2009

31 Aug 2023 • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued updated recommendations regarding the care, risk assessment, and terminology used for children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). This update marks the first revision since 2009 and aims to provide a more inclusive and respectful approach to terminology. Notably, terms like ""loss,"" ""failed,"" and ""impairment"" are no longer used in order to emphasize that children with D/HH are equal, healthy, and complete individuals.

The report underscores the significance of early medical support for hearing, especially during the crucial period of birth to 5 years old when brain and language development are most active. Key recommendations from the update include:

  1. Objective Risk Assessment: All children should undergo an evidence-based risk assessment to monitor changes in their hearing.
  2. Prompt Screening: Children of all ages should be promptly screened for hearing concerns if there are clinical or caregiver suspicions.
  3. Diagnostic Consultation: Children who test positive for unusual hearing patterns in one or both ears should be referred to an audiologist for diagnostic consultation and testing.
  4. Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Testing: For children with developmental or behavioral health conditions where standard testing is challenging or inaccurate, electrophysiological hearing testing, such as ABR with sedation, is recommended.
  5. Limited Screening Repeats: To avoid incorrect results and ensure timely language access and support, screening tests should only be conducted once before referring the child to audiology. Source: Pediatrics | Read full story

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