About the Audiology Department
Special School District Audiology services are available to all children birth to graduation who are residents of St. Louis County. Special School District’s Audiologists are state licensed and hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology, as governed by the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association (ASHA).
SSD Audiology Services
Hearing screenings and evaluations are provided for children ages birth to 21. Testing procedures are determined by the student’s age and needs. Tests could include:
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs): A probe in the ear canal delivers auditory stimuli. The response is measured by a microphone in the probe tip, recording sounds made from outer hair cells in the cochlea.
- Pure Tone Air & Bone Conduction Threshold Tests: Tones of various pitches are presented to determine softest audible levels for each ear.
- Speech Detection/Reception Threshold Tests: Spondee words are presented to determine how softly speech can be heard in each ear.
- Speech Discrimination Tests: Words are presented from a standardized list to determine how clearly speech can be heard in each ear.
Middle Ear Analysis
- Tympanometry and reflex testing determine the function of the middle ear mechanism.
These services include one or more of the following: hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone conduction devices, and assistive listening devices.
- Made by SSD Audiologists who are current on research trends and emerging technologies.
- Made based on the student’s hearing loss, hearing needs and available technologies.
- Aided Sound Field testing procedures verify real world benefit received from the amplification devices.
- This testing also helps determine hearing aid, assistive listening device, and other hearing technology advantages for each student.
- Electroacoustic Analysis of hearing aids and assistive listening devices determines how well the device is functioning.
- Real Ear Measurements verify the amplification is appropriate for the student, based on specific targets and hearing levels.
Audiology Device Services
Hearing evaluations, hearing aid/cochlear implant and assistive listening device (ALD) evaluations
- We follow best practices which indicate an annual ALD evaluation with SSD to ensure proper function and to document benefit
- An evaluation must be performed at our audiology office any time your child changes devices (processor upgrade/new hearing aids)
- We work with an earmold company that allows us to send your check or credit card information directly to the manufacturer with
the earmold order
- Cost typically starts around $50 per ear; price varies depending on options chosen (colors/glitter/etc…)
- If your child’s hearing aid is not working, we are usually able to provide a loaner (if we have a current hearing test) while their personal aid is being repaired. It may not be the same as your child’s aid, but will be an aid appropriate for their hearing loss.
- If your child’s hearing aid is lost, we can only provide a loaner if you have an earmold
- We have limited cochlear implant parts. It is very important that you work with your programming audiologist to make sure you have the backup parts needed for your child’s processors. We cannot guarantee we will have back up parts compatible with your child’s equipment.
- Loaner equipment is meant to be a temporary solution
- In-office repairs (earmold tubing, battery door replacements, etc)
- We can send hearing aids out for repair if they are in warranty
We strongly recommend you keep a relationship with an audiology center outside of SSD
- We are unable to see students when school is not in session (i.e. summer and winter breaks).
- We do not work with insurance, nor can we accept payment for services such as new hearing aids, out of warranty repairs, batteries, or other accessories.
- We do not program cochlear implants in the educational setting.
- Please let us know if you need a list of area pediatric audiology centers.
- If you provide a signed release annually, we are happy to collaborate with your child’s clinical audiologist to ensure your child’s hearing needs are being met.
- If you do not have insurance coverage, and the cost of hearing aids, earmolds, or repairs would create a hardship, we work with the Special Education Foundation for these needs. Please contact your SSD audiologist to learn more.