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 ServicesStudent participating in hearing test

    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:

    Hearing Evaluations

    • 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. 

    Amplification Assessments

    These services include one or more of the following: hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone conduction devices, and assistive listening devices. 

    Amplification Recommendations

    • 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.

    Behavioral Assessments

    • 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.

    Objective Assessments

    • 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)

    Earmolds

    • 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…)

    Loaner equipment

    • 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

    Repairs

    • In-office repairs (earmold tubing, battery door replacements, etc)
    • We can send hearing aids out for repair if they are in warranty

     

Other Information

  • 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.

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