• Anatomy of the Ear

    The Ling Six-Sound Test

    Allows a quick and easy way to check and see that a child detects those sounds that lie within the speech spectrum of hearing.

    When performed with 1 hearing aid/implant at a time, provides ear specific information for aided detection of those sounds that lie within the speech spectrum of hearing. It allows parents, professionals, and teachers to know the child’s distance hearing or earshot. Knowing this information has vital instructional ramifications if one intends to use audition as a viable modality of reception. Sounds must first be detected before the brain can be stimulated. Frequent administration of this test and regularly charting results of the Ling 6 sound test on the Ling 6 Sound Test Record Form can help parents, professionals, and teachers monitor for hearing aid malfunction and/or cochlear implant malfunction, changes in the child’s hearing, or onset of middle ear conductive involvement that would be reflected by REDUCED EARSHOT.

    Test Administration

    The Ling 6 sounds are /m/, /oo/, /ah/, /ee/, /sh/, /s/

    *18 months of age and older:  Start out sitting next to the child about 3 inches away, and encourage the child to drop a toy or block into a container when he/she detects each sound. You may need to have parents and/or older siblings model this behavior or provide a ‘hand-over-hand’ facilitation for the child before he/she begins to listen and drop independently. Continue saying the sounds and gradually, one step at a time, move away from the child. Note the DISTANCE CUT-OFFS. Once you know the child’s distance hearing/earshot, administer the test daily starting at about 1foot, then move to the distance hearing/earshot cut-off. Continue to periodically check from farther distances to see if earshot has increased. Distance hearing depends on the hearing loss, hearing for that day, ambient room noise, and hearing aid efficiency. All consonants and vowels should be detected out to 20 feet and beyond with cochlear implants. For children who wear hearing aids, the /sh and s/, due to their weak acoustic energy and high frequencies, may need much closer distancesfor detection than vowels.

    **Note: Some children are able to demonstrate this skill at younger than 18 months of age. Therefore, it is appropriate to begin conditioning for the “Listen & Drop” beginning between 10 and 12 months of age. Modeling and hand-over-hand guidance are essential at this age and stage.