Audiology Services

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital


For information about ENT and Pediatric Audiology Services call 317-338-6815

St. Vincent Pediatric Communications Center

Located at the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital
Ear, Nose and Throat Center
8402 Harcourt Road, Suite 400
On the St. Vincent Indianapolis campus
Map & Directions
Self-referrals accepted based on your health insurance.

With special recognition to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Indiana State Aerie & Friends for their gift and support of this pediatric hearing center.

The ENT Center and Pediatric Communications Center provides a full range of audiology services from testing, non-surgical and surgical interventions, and close monitoring and education. The pediatric audiologists are all certified and have extensive experience working with children of all ages — infant to young adult — regardless of their degree of hearing loss. We specialize in best-in-care practices for the hearing impaired with a family-centered approach. Our ongoing care and support continues as your child grows and includes the coordination of related services such as speech therapy.

Hearing loss diagram

Hearing loss is common

In Indiana, most children with hearing loss (90%) are born into families in which both parents have normal hearing.


To learn more see – Signs of hearing loss in children

Signs of Hearing Loss in Children

Parents and caregivers are often the first to notice a hearing problem. Some babies are born with hearing problems. Other children develop hearing loss as they age. The critical period of speech and language development is from birth to four years old. If you suspect a hearing problem, contact your physician. Families can also self-refer to the St. Vincent Pediatric Communications Center for a hearing evaluation and consultation.

Newborn hearing screenings at 1 month, 3 months and 6 months are recommended by the Indiana State Department of Health. The St Vincent Pediatric Communications Center audiologists administer newborn/infant hearing screening tests and hearing tests for children of all ages.  

Newborn/Baby Hearing Checklist

An infant with normal hearing should be able to do the following:

Around 2 months of age

  • Startles to loud sound
  • Quiets to familiar voices
  • Makes vowel sounds like “ohh”

Around 4 months of age

  • Looks for sound sources
  • Starts babbling
  • Makes squeals and chuckles

Around 6 months of age

  • Turns head toward loud sounds
  • Begins to imitate speech sound
  • Babbles sounds like “ba-ba”

Around 9 months of age

  • Imitates speech sounds of others
  • Understands “no-no” or “bye-bye”
  • Turns head toward soft sounds

Around 12 months of age

  • Correctly uses “ma-ma” or “da-da”
  • Gives toy when asked
  • Responds to singing or music

Adapted from the American Academy of Audiology (information sheet) Hearing Loss and Infant Hearing Screening.

Our Pediatric ENTs and Audiologists are professional yet approachable. We are trained to diagnose, treat and ensure that children with hearing loss develop language skills to the best of his or her ability. We also know that hearing is critical to a child’s communication and learning development, and impacts social skills and vocational choices. Early detection is crucial. Ask your doctor about the 1-3-6 month approach to evaluating your child’s hearing.

Hearing is critical to a child’s communication and learning development especially from birth to four years of age. Early identification of hearing loss and appropriate interventions such as digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, or bone-anchoring hearing aids (BAHA) are crucial for the development of speech and language development and learning skills.

Developmentally, hearing loss impacts:

  • Speech delays and language difficulties
  • Learning difficulties resulting in poorer academic achievement
  • Socialization with peers
  • Long-term career choices

Hearing Tests for Children

Our certified audiologists are very experienced at administering hearing tests specific to your child’s needs and age group (newborn, infant, toddler and older children).

Sedated and non-sedated auditory brainstem evolved response (ABR) testing is for children of all ages – newborns to young adult.

Otoacoustic emissions testing –This painless test measures sounds produced by the inner ear (cochlea), usually while the baby is sleeping or sitting still. 

Pure-tone testing — This test involves the child wearing headphones. An electrical machine makes sounds at different volumes and pitches, and the child will signal when he or she hears the sounds. 

Speech reception threshold testing – In older children, the audiologist conducts listening and speech tests that record the faintest speech that can be understood, especially in a noisy environment. SRT helps to confirm pure-tone test results.

Tympanometry tests the middle ear – This test is done to help determine if there are changes in pressure in the middle ear. It does not tell if the child is hearing or not.

Newborn Hearing Screenings

The 1-3-6 month approach is recommended by the Indiana State Department of Health, Early Hearing, Detection and Intervention (EHDI)  In 2000, Indiana was one of the first states to mandate universal newborn hearing screenings, and we continue to be a leader in maintaining early identification and follow-up rates.

Every child who does not pass a newborn hearing screening test should be seen for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.

To schedule hearing testing, call the Pediatric Communications Center at 317-338-6815. Throughout the testing sequence, we provide families with educational resources and will send results to your primary care physician.

  • By 1 month old — Have an initial newborn hearing screening
  • By 3 months old — Diagnostic auditory brainstem response (ABR)– this is a diagnostic tool for measuring hearing when more conventional hearing tests cannot be used.
  • By 6 months old — Begin appropriate hearing and speech interventions  


Cancer Care Hearing Tests

Specialized testing programs include ototoxicity monitoring for the child who has had cancer treatments, as specified by the medical oncologist.

Hearing Aid Devices for Children

There are several types of hearing aid options available to families:

  • The traditional digital hearing aid amplifies sound to louder volumes. These work well for individuals with mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss or inoperable conductive hearing loss.
  • Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) are typically for those children with problems in the outer and middle ear. Once attached, the BAHA device picks up sound waves much the same way as a conventional hearing aid.
  • The Cochlear Implant Program is most helpful for hearing loss in the severe to profound range. We provide a full-service approach to cochlear implantation and rehabilitation to improve hearing.

To determine if your child is a candidate for any of these types of hearing aids, contact the St. Vincent Pediatric Communications Center at the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Ear, Nose and Throat Center.


Bone-anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA)

Bone conduction hearing systems convert sound into vibrations that are then sent through the skull bone, directly to the inner ear.

The BAHA device is typically for the child with conductive hearing loss or single-sided deafness.
Manufacturer: Baha® system
This device is smartphone compatible.

Child with anchored hearing aids

Cochlear Implant (CI)

Cochlear implants transform sound into electrical stimulation for the auditory nerve, bypassing the cochlear to become a substitute for a non-functioning cochlear.

The Cochlear Implant has an internal receiver/stimulator that is surgically implanted and an external speech processor.

Through our Cochlear Implant Program we evaluate, fit and program (called mapping) for several types of CI devices. Manufacturers: Cochlear ®, Advanced Bionics ®, and MED-EL ®

These devices are smartphone compatible.


Digital Hearing Aids

According to the ASHA, the behind-the-ear hearing aid is the most common type of device recommended for infants and children with unilateral hearing loss.

We dispense, fit, program, and follow-up throughout childhood, so as your child grows the detachable customized earmold can be remade, if necessary.

We also offer accessories (hearing aid clips, baby hearing aid headbands and other resources).

Loaner Hearing Aid Program

Through this program, our audiologists also help children and families navigate the financial aspects of acquiring the hearing aid device.

  • Amplification during the wait time for First Steps approval for newly identified infants.
  • Amplification for a trial period of 3 months prior to cochlear implant surgery which is required by insurance.
  • Amplification for patients while their personal hearing aids are off for repair/cleaning so that the child is never without sound.

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