Upon referral, experienced pediatric audiologists use specialized state-of-the-art equipment and family-friendly techniques in a culturally-sensitive environment to provide comprehensive evaluations, including hearing aid(s)/cochlear implants when indicated, for children from birth through the school years. Defining and monitoring the various characteristics of a hearing loss are essential in assessing the potential impact on the child’s communication and social-emotional development, learning skills, and academic achievement. Families are linked to services and resources at school and in the community. School teams are provided with strategies and accommodations to maximize the child’s educational opportunities and experience.
Comprehensive hearing evaluations determine the presence, severity and characteristics of a hearing loss. Based on the findings, appropriate recommendations and referrals are made. Families are provided school and community resources to meet the needs of the child.
Hearing Aid/Cochlear Implant Evaluations
Evaluations for children using hearing aids or cochlear implants are conducted at VCOE upon referral, to determine the child's auditory function with the use of their personal hearing devices. The hearing aids or cochlear implant processors are analyzed to assure proper function. Children are evaluated to determine what sounds are audible and how well speech can be heard and understood while using their personal hearing devices. This information is used to guide families back to their community audiologist for any needed adjustments, and to guide school teams in understanding the educational impact of the hearing loss.
Central Auditory Processing Assessments
Central Auditory Processing (CAP) is broadly defined as the efficiency and effectiveness by which the central nervous system utilizes auditory information. Central Auditory Process Disorder (CAPD) is described as a deficit in the neural processing of auditory stimuli that is not the result of higher order language, cognition, or related factors (ASHA, 2005a).
Referrals for CAP assessment are made through the student’s IEP team. Contact the Hearing Conservation to reserve an appointment and request referral forms as needed (download the CAP Scheduling Process below). It is the policy of Ventura County Office of Education and Ventura County SELPA that students who are being considered for CAP assessment must already be identified as having a Special Education eligible disability. Before generating a referral to VCOE Hearing Conservation/Audiology Services for assessment of CAP, consider the following:
• RtI interventions have been implemented and found not to be successful.
• Multidisciplinary Assessment has been completed revealing the potential for a CAP disorder.
• Normal peripheral hearing acuity has been established, as well as normal ear health.
• Student is a minimum age of 7 years due to neuro-maturation as well as task difficulty.
• Cognitive ability in the average range.
• Student's speech can easily be understood by the assessing audiologist.
• Auditory processing problems are observable in all languages spoken by the student.
• Command of the testing language for CAP is necessary.