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The ability to hear during the early years of life is critical for the development of speech, language and the ability to process acquisition of knowledge and understanding through thought. Early identification and intervention can prevent severe psychosocial, educational and language problems. Identifying infants before 6month allows a child with impaired hearing to develop normal speech and language.

At Pendleton, hearing screening is carried out using automated Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test. In response to sound heard by the ear, the healthy ear itself produces an ‘echo’ known as an OAE. The test involves placing a small ear-piece into a baby’s outer ear which sends out gentle clicking sounds. The ‘echo’ is then measured by a computer and indicates if a baby has a functioning middle and inner ear (cochlea). Parents remain with their baby while the test is carried out and it takes only a few minutes. The baby often sleep through the test. This test can also be used in older children.

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