Formal Versus Informal Hearing Tests: What is Functional Hearing?By Durkel, Jim, CCC-SPL/A; See/Hear, Vol. 10, No. 3
Publication Date: Summer 2005
Article defines and discusses the difference between formal audiological hearing tests and functional, or informal hearing tests, and discusses how information yielded by these assessments can be used to meet children’s needs. There are two major types of formal audiological tests: (1) physiological tests, and (2) behavioral tests. Physiological tests include auditory brainstem response testing and tympanometry, and are used to evaluate the neurological or mechanical functioning of the auditory system. Behavioral tests, the most common of which are pure tone tests, are used to evaluate an individual’s hearing threshold at various levels. Informal hearing processes, in contrast, are used to develop an idea of how a child uses his or her hearing in various environments and settings throughout the day, and to determine what variables support the best use of hearing in order to make improvements. The gathering of information from both types of tests over time can help to guide audiologists to determine how well a hearing aid or cochlear implant is meeting the child’s needs.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Web Site: http://www.tsbvi.edu )
Link to text: http://www.tsbvi.edu/Outreach/seehear/summer05/functional.htm