Infant Hearing Program

infant hearing

The Ontario Infant Hearing Program provides screening, early identification, and treatment of hearing loss in infants, toddlers, and preschool children as part of province-wide programming from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, These services are provided at no cost.

The H. A. Leeper Clinic is one of the service provider agencies for the Ontario IHP, and home to a team of audiologists who provide infant hearing assessments and hearing aid services from ages birth through six. All of our audiologists are registered members of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). Some of our audiologists provide community outreach and/or professional training in the areas of infant hearing assessment, toddler hearing assessment, and hearing aid fitting for infants and toddlers. We work in conjunction with the Child Amplification Laboratory to develop and test new protocols, and to provide province-wide training on hearing aid protocols.

Hearing Assessment for Your Child

Children under six months of age and undergoing Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing must be asleep for the test. In preparation for testing of a child under six months of age to the clinic, please:

  • Keep the child awake for a few hours before the test so that s/he arrives tired
  • Bring a companion to help keep the child awake in the car
  • Arrive with the child hungry, so that the child can be fed just before the test starts to help him or her fall asleep more easily

The clinic has soft lighting, a quiet room, and a comfortable crib for the baby to sleep in during the hearing assessment. Please remember that if the baby does not sleep during the test, another appointment may have to be made in order to complete the testing. Once the hearing assessment results are complete, the IHP audiologist will explain to you:

  • How hearing works
  • What sounds the baby can hear and might not hear
  • How any hearing loss may affect the development of language
  • Further support services that are available through the program

For children older than six months who are scheduled for either Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) or Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA) parents should ensure that the child is well rested and is familiar with having their ears touched in anticipation of the testing.