Head Start obtains audiometer for hearing screenings

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Kaura L., age 3, reacts to home-based visitor Linda Grondin during her hearing exam. Kaura’s parents are both hearing impaired, making hearing screenings, as well as socialization with other children, especially important for her speech development.

Head Start obtains audiometer for hearing screenings

LEWISTON – Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care has announced the purchase of a Maico Pilot Speech Recognition Screening Audiometer to be used for screening the hearing of children ages 3 to 5 in Head Start’s programs. The purchase was made possible by donations from Wal-Mart, Keller Williams Realty Mid Maine and the Lewiston/Auburn Kiwanis Club.

“By using pictures of everyday items, a child can complete the hearing screening in a matter of minutes,” said Dorothy Crowley-Noel, RN, program manager for Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care.

“A child puts on the ear phones and a voice asks, in different tones, for the child to point to a specific picture, like a rainbow or fire truck. It is child friendly and the screening results are more accurate. Because of the high risk of ear infections in many of Head Start’s children, providing hearing screenings is extremely important. If a child can not hear properly, they will not be able to learn properly,” she said.

Estelle Rubinstein, executive director of Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care, said, “Costing approximately $2,000, the audiometer could not have been purchased without the support of Wal-Mart, Lewiston/Auburn Kiwanis and Keller Williams. We are mandated to provide hearing screenings for all of our children within 45 days of enrollment. Having a new audiometer will assist us in providing these screenings. Early screenings and early referrals to physicians does make a difference in the lives of children with hearing problems. These three wonderful donors have shown their support for Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care and we are extremely grateful.”

Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care has provided child development services to pregnant women, families and children, newborn to age 5, for more than 41 years. Program options include full-day, half-day, home-based, family childcare and infant and toddler early Head Start. Services are provided annually to more than 400 children and families throughout Androscoggin County. Centers are located in Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon Falls, Livermore Falls, Mechanic Falls and Turner.

Applications for all Head Start programs are accepted at any time. Call 795-4040 or visit www.androkids.com for more information. Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care is a United Way funded and Lewiston and Auburn CDBG supported agency.

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