Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

Spring 4-12-2019

First Advisor

Scott Seeman


Otoacoustic Emissions, Pre-School Hearing Screenings, Hearing Screenings, Audiology, Pure Tone Screenings, Hearing Screening Tools, Childhood hearing loss, School-Aged Children, Newborn Hearing Screenings, Hearing Screening Protocols


Speech Pathology and Audiology


Unidentified hearing loss in children can have a potential effect on their speech and language, educational, cognitive, and social development. The goal of early detection is to minimize the effects of hearing loss through the appropriate referral for diagnosis and treatment. Hearing screenings throughout the preschool and school-age years are vital for the detection of a late-onset, late identified, or acquired hearing loss. Three influential organizations known as The American Academy of Audiology (AAA), The American Speech- Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM), have considered behavioral pure tone screening as the “gold standard”for hearing screening protocol across a range of age groups. Although ideally this gold standard would be implemented in all cases, there may be some instances in which the recommended protocol is not appropriate. Performing a pure tone hearing screening may not be plausible for large groups of children, or those who are not capable of conditioning to the task. In these cases, the use of Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) has been suggested as an alternative. The aim of this literature review is to discuss the purpose of preschool and school-age hearing screenings, which screening tools are effective in identifying hearing loss in children, and what the appropriate protocol should be for those screening tools. If OAEs were to be substituted for pure tone screenings, the selection of the pass/fail criteria and specific protocol should maximize the number of children being correctly identified with a hearing loss.