GENERAL COMMENTS ON SCREENING OF HEARING IN CHILDREN.
is expensive and it addresses only a very small part of the general hearing problems in children. Statistically only 2 newborn babies
in 1000 has a hearing problem ( 0.2%), while by the time the child attends school, 2 children in 10 ( depends upon the country
considered ) has a hearing problem ( 20%).
2. This dramatic increase from 0.2% to 20% results, among other reasons, from the poor and inefficient hearing screening methods
applied to the babies, toddlers and the pre-school children.
3. Typically there is not enough medical centres and other services involved in frequent hearing assessment of a very large group of
young children. These centres cannot be run economically, because about 45% of children fail to cooperate with the tester in an
unfamiliar environment and they have to return again to complete the test. On the other hand the so called home visits enlisting
trained nurses to test the children’s hearing at home, are insufficient in numbers and service frequency. In some countries they are
not existent at all.
4. The aim of the introduction of the Hearing Game is to shift the clinical strategy of early detection of hearing problems in
children to the people who are the most interested in child’s well being and development i.e. to the Parents. Of course the staff in
various Child Care Centres, Kindergartens etc. can also be involved. The test can be conveniently conducted as a game at home
without the time pressure to complete in one sitting. It can be completed over a few days when the child is willing to cooperate (see
MANUAL 1 test description) and repeated many times as the child grows older to monitor the child’s hearing status.
5. Early detection and correction of hearing problems in young children is extremely important. It is well known, that the delay in
detection and correction of the hearing problem by one month may result in a one year delay in the child’s general development.
Therefore early detection of the hearing problem in children should be effectively combined with corrective intervention and medical
6. The Hearing Game also allows observance of the child’s listening, correlation, coordination skills and the reaction time which may
be poor and not necessarily related to a hearing deficiency. This may help indicate a need to contact the appropriate medical
specialist at an early stage of the child’s development.
7. Introduction of the Hearing Game may help to create an effective screening system for early detection of hearing impairments in
children, facilitate an early evaluation and correction of the hearing problems.