Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Chisolm, Theresa


auditory development, otoacoustic emissions, audit


This paper provides an overview of developmental timetables relevant to hearing and of current pediatric audiological techniques and practices. The first sections summarize structural and functional development of the auditory pathway and the development of primary auditory processing. These developmental sequences appear to follow similar paths in humans and animals. Speech and music perception involve more complex processing and are strongly influenced by experience. Hearing disorders affect the perception of complex sounds in a variety of ways, depending on the site(s) of lesions. Early onset hearing impairment, including conductive loss from chronic otitis media, can seriously impede language development. Language cannot develop normally without adequate speech stimulation.

Sensitive and inexpensive techniques are available for performing neonatal hearing screening, and early intervention has a positive effect on development of language skills in hearing-impaired children. Thus, the National Institute of Health has recommended nationwide universal newborns hearing screening. The rationale and methodology of universal screening programs is summarized in the chapter. Advances in the field of the genetics of hearing impairment are also reviewed