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Probes and Tips - March 2009 - Sharing with Part C Programs

the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Mangement

This newsletter provides TIPS to enhance your OAE screening and follow-up practices and PROBES about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges. Check out our website for more helpful resources:

March, 2009 issue

Tip of the Month 

Share Your OAE Screening Knowledge with Local Part C Early Intervention Programs

Now that you have incorporated OAE screening into your Head Start program, you may want to share your knowledge and experience with other early childhood programs in your community.  One program to consider is your local Part C Early Intervention program.  All Part C Early Intervention programs are required to make sure their children receive a hearing screening/evaluation; however, they may not be using up-to-date methods.  This is where your experience can pay off for others in your community!

Mark Dewsnup, health coordinator at Davis County Head Start in Kaysville, Utah, found that the Part C Early Intervention program in his community was not using up-to-date screening methods.  Mark invited staff from that program to observe OAE screening and shared with them the resources he had obtained from the ECHO Initiative.  He introduced them to his audiologist partner who subsequently helped the Early Intervention program obtain OAE equipment and training.  Mark's relatively simply effort to share his knowledge and experience demonstrated one way Head Start can lead the way as a laboratory on early childhood practices that benefit children throughout the larger community. 

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Hearing Screening/Evaluation in Part C Early Intervention Programs

Similar to Head Start Performance Standards pertaining to hearing screenings,  Part C regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require that Evaluation and Assessments must include hearing screening, but do not specify how that screening should be carried out.  In an effort to better understand Part C hearing screening practices, the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University recently surveyed 155 Part C providers from17 states describing their hearing screening strategies.  The survey results indicated that the majority of programs relied heavily on subjective methods including observations of the child’s response to sounds/noisemakers and family-completed questionnaires.  The unreliability of these methods in correctly identifying children with hearing loss has been well documented.  It is therefore not surprising that anecdotal reports continue to note that children already receiving Part C services have been found to have undiagnosed hearing losses.   Overall, 90% of local Part C Program Coordinators who responded to the survey indicated that they were somewhat or very interested in receiving more information about OAE screening practices.
Probe of the Month

Do you know how to contact your local Part C Early Intervention Program?

How likely is it you can share your knowledge and experiences about OAE screening with your local Part C Early Intervention Program?
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National Resource Center on Early Hearing Detection and Intervention 
Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (E C H O) Head Start
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