UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland’s Audiology Department is a leading Bay Area provider of diagnostic and treatment services for children with or at risk for hearing loss, and those who demonstrate speech and language and/or developmental delays. Our Cochlear Implant Program has been one of the leading pediatric audiology services in Northern California since 1991. Hearing plays a vital role in the acquisition of speech and communication. Our licensed pediatric audiology specialists work closely with speech and language pathologists and developmental specialists to enable children with hearing loss to achieve their fullest potential.

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Why Families Choose Us

The Department of Pediatric Audiology is a full-service Hearing Center and Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program in collaboration with comprehensive speech and language therapy services for infants and children with hearing loss and speech and language delay.

  • Licensed pediatric audiologists and speech-language pathologists work closely with families, referring pediatricians, ENT physicians, and developmental specialists.

Comprehensive Hearing Services for Children

Communication is an integral part of your child’s growth, and development and hearing plays a vital role in the acquisition of speech and language. Review our recommendations for your child's hearing & speech milestones.

  • Diagnostic hearing evaluations for children ages 0-21
  • Newborn hearing screenings
  • Testing tailored to each child’s individual needs considering a variety of factors, including the child’s developmental abilities, language, medical status, and/or type of amplification
  • Therapy, auditory training, and aural habilitation/rehabilitation
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) evaluations and auditory training
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR) evaluation
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)
  • Audiologic behavioral assessments
  • Hearing aid evaluation and follow-up
  • Cochlear implant evaluation and follow-up mapping and management
  • Evaluation for and follow-up with a variety of amplification devices including hearing aids, bone conduction devices, and CROS devices.

Pediatric Specialists for Your Child’s Auditory Health

  • We offer comprehensive newborn hearing screening as well as audiologic evaluations in a specialized care environment for infants with multiple developmental disabilities and are prepared for the resulting challenge of accurately delineating their hearing status.
  • Our diagnostic hearing evaluations include a combination of behavioral diagnostics (behavioral audiometry: behavioral observation, visual reinforcement) combined with electrophysiologic measures
  • We are one of the few local facilities to offer sedated and non-sedated Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) evaluation for children age 0-21, as well as Central Auditory Processing (CAPD) evaluation for children age 7 and older.
  • We conduct a routine evaluation in conjunction with otologic management for amplification devices (e.g., hearing aids, hearing assistive devices, cochlear implants.)

Cochlear Implant Program

The Cochlear Implant Program at Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland has been one of the leading pediatric audiology services in Northern California since 1991.

Because Children's Hospital Oakland has many pediatric specialties in one location, we can offer a team of experts from several areas of medicine working together to provide the highest quality care. Specialists from Children’s Hospital Oakland collaborate as a team to evaluate when a cochlear implant is right for your child. Children’s cochlear implant team includes pediatric surgeons, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, an educator/outreach liaison, and team coordinator—all specialists with advanced training in pediatrics.

When evaluating a child’s potential with, and candidacy for a cochlear implant, many factors are taken into consideration including medical status, current language level, language potential, school program, and family involvement. Our cochlear implant team then works closely with each implanted child's family and educational-support team to achieve the maximum communication potential for that child.

Your Child's Hearing & Speech Milestones

Hearing Milestones

Ask your child's pediatrician for a referral to one of our pediatric audiologists if any of the following occur:

Your Infant:

  • Does not pass newborn hearing screening
  • Does not babble or make sounds by the age of 9 months
Your Child:
  • Does not respond to sounds
  • Does not understand simple commands by the age of 2
  • Does not imitate or produce words by the age of 18 to 24 months
  • Cannot be understood by family and/or caregivers by the age of 3
  • Cannot be understood by individuals with whom they do not associate regularly
  • Cannot correctly produce most speech sounds
  • Has poor voice quality
  • Continues to stutter past the age of 5

Speech Milestones

Call to schedule a screening with our speech-language pathologists if your child has not met these milestones:

By age 2 years, your child should:

  • Identify basic body parts and clothing
  • Follow 2-step directions
  • Use two-word phrases frequently
  • Use 50 different words
By age 3 years, your child should:
  • Understand common action words
  • Answer yes/no questions correctly
  • Use simple sentences
  • Be understood by familiar listeners
By age 4 years, your child should:
  • Recognize actions in pictures
  • Name a variety of pictured objects
  • Combine 4+ words in spontaneous speech
  • Be understood by familiar and/or unfamiliar listeners
By age 5 years, your child should:
  • Answer questions logically
  • Speak clearly

Additional Information