The goal of a pediatric hearing evaluation is to obtain information regarding hearing levels from children who are unable to respond in the same manner that older children and adults respond. This is done in one of two ways depending on the age of the child. For infants and young toddlers, aged 5 months to about 2.5 years of age, Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is used. Children aged 2.5 to 4 years are tested using Conditioned Play Audiometry.
Depending on the age of the child and their willingness to repeat words, a speech reception threshold (SRT) or speech detection threshold (SDT) may be obtained. A SRT is the softest level at which the child can understand speech. The child may be asked to point to body parts, objects or pictures or to repeat two syllable words to obtain an SRT. The SDT is the softest level of speech that the child can hear. The SDT may be obtained by having the child respond to soft speech in the same way they respond to the tones for either conditioned play or VRA.