The CCHAT Audiology Program provides a variety of hearing services for newborns, including initial diagnostic evaluations, critical rescreenings, family consultation and hearing-assistive technology fittings.
About three of every 1000 babies are diagnosed with significant hearing loss, making it the most frequently occurring birth defect. Due to the critical nature of this diagnosis, any delay can have lifelong negative effects on a child with hearing loss.
In 2018, CCHAT started its Newborn Hearing Diagnostic Program to meet the needs of the community. The goal is to provide comprehensive hearing health services to families of children born throughout Northern California. CCHAT aims to equip families with resources and a sense of understanding, setting them up on a path to success.
Infant hearing loss is considered a "neurodevelopmental emergency" due to the limited time the brain has to make auditory neural connections. To capitalize on this natural window of language development, all newborns in the area should have access to hearing screening services within one month of birth and be properly diagnosed within three months of birth.
Subsequent enrollment in an early intervention program like CCHAT should occur within six months of birth. Early detection can significantly mitigate the negative impacts of hearing loss on speech/language acquisition, academic achievement and social/emotional development. With more than 25 years of service delivery, CCHAT has proven the importance of timely hearing screenings. Children who receive early diagnosis and intervention can be expected to achieve educational outcomes in their language development on par with their hearing peers.
With state-of-the-art technology and unrivaled staffing, CCHAT provides essential newborn hearing diagnostic services to the Northern California region.
CCHAT is fortunate to have Dr. Katie Isbell as the leader of its audiology team. Dr. Isbell’s goal is to make every family who comes into her office feel comfortable. She explains each procedure and answers any questions that may arise during testing. Dr. Isbell remains engaged with each child she serves and makes herself available for follow-up questions. Her wealth of knowledge and experience in the audiological field ensures that each child will receive the best care and treatment possible.
Dr. Isbell uses two essential methods of screening – Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE). Sounds are played through small earphones and responses to the sounds are automatically measured. Both tests use FDA-approved screening equipment that detects hearing loss in infants. Early diagnosis ensures that children can immediately begin receiving life-changing intervention services, like those provided in CCHAT’s Baby & Me Hearing Program.
Our audiologists are experts in pediatric audiological assessments and can easily adapt standard testing procedures to meet a child's needs. We are a family-centered program, so our goal is to provide families with a thorough explanation of results and recommendations.
If the above hearing test results indicate that your newborn is deaf or hard of hearing, we have a dedicated communication program that is exclusively designed for children, including infants and their parents.
CCHAT is proud to be a community resource for those with hearing health needs. CCHAT’s team of audiologists aims to make you feel comfortable through every step of the process while providing immediate, reliable answers. To schedule an appointment or consultation, call 916-361-7290 or use our contact page.