Glossary of Common Terms

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Neuroplasticity

Also called Neural Plasticity, the ability of the brain and/or certain parts of the nervous system to adapt to new conditions, such as an injury.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Newborn Hearing Screening (NBHS)

A Newborn Hearing Screening is the first step to identify a baby's hearing status. In most states in the U.S., babies receive the newborn hearing screening in the hospital shortly after birth. Most states have a mandated newborn hearing screening program. During the screening, a baby’s hearing will be checked using one or two gentle tests, which can be done when the baby is asleep and are usually performed in the hospital room or infant nursery by persons trained to use the specialized screening machines.
Source: Oberkotter


Occupational Therapy (OT)

Therapy that helps children perform everyday skills and activities. Pediatric occupational therapists are qualified occupational therapists who work with infants and children who have problems in cognitive functions, movement, and coordination.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Ossicles

Three tiny bones (the Incus, Malleus, and Stapes) in the middle ear.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Otitis Media

Infection of the middle ear that usually results in a conductive hearing loss until the middle ear becomes well ventilated. Children with recurrent attacks may have fluctuating hearing loss and be somewhat at risk for acquiring permanent hearing loss.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Otoacoustic Emission Test (OAE)

Otoacoustic Emissions testing is typically used as a preliminary screening test. This simple procedure involves placing a small probe in the outer ear canal with the patient sitting still and quietly. A computer analyzes the emissions or lack thereof. This test does not require the child's active participation and usually takes about 15 minutes.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Otolaryngologist

Physician/surgeon who specializes in diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and head and neck. Also referred to as an ENT doctor.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Otologist

Physician/surgeon who specializes in diseases of the ear.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Part C Early Intervention Program

Part C of IDEA provides for early intervention (EI) services for at-risk children from birth to their third birthdays. EI services assist young children with atypical physical, cognitive, communication, adaptive, and social or emotional development. IDEA further mandates that EI services must be provided by qualified personnel, in natural environments and at no cost to the families (except where states provide for a system of payment, such as a sliding scale.)
Source: Special Education Guide


Pediatric Audiologist

A pediatric audiologist is a doctor of audiology (Au.D or Ph.D), who is legally licensed to practice audiology by the state where they live, and who has lots of knowledge and experience working with babies.
Source: Oberkotter & Carol Flexer