The Audiology Program through Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District (LBL ESD) provides in-center evaluations for children and students who live within Linn, Benton, or Lincoln counties, that attend public school or are being considered for special education services and attend either home school or private school. The program supports children and students who range in age from birth through 21 years.
Who is Eligible for Audiological Evaluation?
Students and children birth to 21 years who live within Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties and who have not passed the school hearing screenings (done in Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade) or who are being considered for special education services. Students with existing hearing loss or those that have a loss that is progressive are also commonly evaluated.
How are Children Referred for Audiological Testing?
If parents, or any other referring party, have a concern about a child or student’s hearing, they may contact the program or school’s speech-language pathologist (SLP) or special education department. LBL ESD’s audiologist conducts annual hearing screenings for all students in kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grades who attend public school within the Linn, Benton and Lincoln county area. A child may then be referred to the LBL ESD audiologist for an audiological evaluation following two failed hearing screenings.
Audiological Testing May Include The Following:
- Otoscopy (looking in the ears)
- Acoustic immittance testing (includes tympanometry (evaluates the eardrum and middle ear) as well as acoustic reflexes)
- Standard air and bone conduction audiometry (behavioral testing to establish hearing thresholds)
- Conditioned play audiometry or visual reinforcement audiometry (behavioral testing to establish hearing levels for younger children using games or toy animals that light up)
- Speech audiometry (determines speech reception thresholds and word recognition/discrimination)
- Otoacoustic emissions (objective assessment of the inner ear)
Other Audiological Services Available:
- Consultation with parents, Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH), and school staff regarding hearing loss, educational and audiological needs of the child
- Hearing assistance technology devices including personal FM/DM systems and classroom audio distribution systems
- Loaner hearing aids and hearing aid repairs
- Ear molds and hearing aids for children that do not have insurance coverage
Referral for evaluation does not imply automatic eligibility. Each child’s audiological and developmental or academic needs will be evaluated by an IFSP/IEP team to determine the need for special education services from an LBL ESD Teacher of the D/HH.
There is no fee for the hearing evaluation or consultation. Parents may be responsible for the cost of hearing aids, ear molds, and hearing aid repairs. Alternative funding is sometimes available.