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Infant Services

Auditory Brainstem
Response Testing (ABR).

Monkey Mouths Auditory Brainstem Response Testing (ABR)

What is Auditory Brainstem Response Testing?

Around the 18th week of pregnancy, babies start hearing their first sounds. At Monkey Mouths, we aim to provide your baby with optimal sound access to reduce communication challenges and enhance brain development. The cochlea, a small organ filled with fluid and thousands of essential hair cells for hearing, is not the only aspect of hearing; it also involves the brain. A child’s brain development relies on various factors, such as touch, sight, taste, smell, movement, body awareness, and hearing.

If hearing loss goes undetected or untreated, it will significantly impact a child’s cognitive development and may result in processing and/or speech and language delays.

An auditory brainstem response (ABR) evaluation is a safe, painless, and noninvasive test for babies that can measure how well each ear responds to sounds. During the test, small sensors are placed on the baby’s head, and gentle clicking sounds are played in their ears. The test measures how your baby’s hearing nerve and brain respond to these sounds, helping to identify any hearing issues as early as possible.

When to ABr test?

An ABR is most often recommended for babies who do not pass their hearing screen at birth. However, there are other reasons why an ABR may be recommended, such as if a child has a speech-/language delay, developmental delay, a diagnosis that is associated with hearing differences, recurrent ear infections, or if there is concern for hearing by parent/caregiver. Infants under six months old can complete the test without sedation while the child is in a natural sleep state. Most children over the age of six months require some form of sedation to sleep through an ABR.  At Monkey Mouths, our goal is to be able to schedule your baby’s ABR within 2 weeks of you reaching out to us.

Monkey Mouths Auditory Brainstem Response Testing (ABR)

What are the advantages of abr?

ABR can pinpoint the specific location and nature of hearing problems. With ABR test results, your doctor can create personalized treatment strategies, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or therapeutic interventions.

testing at Monkey mouths

Because timeliness is of utmost importance, it is our goal at Monkey Mouths to be able to schedule your appointment within two weeks.

For this test, the participant will need to be asleep, as movement and noise can affect responses. The following are recommendations for a successful test: 

  • Infants should not sleep for one to two hours before the test. 
  • If possible, delay feeding an infant until you arrive for the appointment. 
  • Bring a comfort item, such as a blanket or pillow. 
  • Bring extra necessities including diapers and wipes, a change of clothes and extra formula, if used. 

Evaluations take up to two hours from start to finish. During the test, the baby will need to be sleeping. This can take place in a parent/caregiver’s arms or in their car seat. To get started, the audiologist will gently scrub the child’s forehead and behind their ear. Small sticker sensors that will transmit a signal to the computer are then attached at those locations. Next, tiny earphones will be placed in the child’s ears. A sound will be played through the earphones and the sensors will pick up the brain’s response to those sounds. After the test, the audiologist will analyze the recordings to determine how the child hears and then share the results with the parent or caregiver.