Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is a style of hearing testing used for infants with a developmental age of approx. 9 months – 3 years (these are typical ages. Please note that a child’s developmental age may be different to their chronological age).
VRA involves small table and chair set-up in a large 3 x 3m sound booth with dimmed lighting. Your child is taught to expect a fun dancing puppet or computer image/video as a “reward” for turning their head around when they hear a sound. We give your child a number of training sessions with the sound and reward played at the same time. Once your child understands the task, sounds are presented at softer levels to determine the level of hearing.
Typically VRA is performed with speakers, not headphones, because most young children do not tolerate wearing headphones on, or earphones in, their ears. Testing with speakers is called “free-field” testing. With this type of hearing test, both ears are tested together. If individual ear hearing test results are required, this may require an additional appointment. While we try our best to make the experience fun and calm, will be subject to your child’s ability to tolerate headphones/earphones.
Please note: Children with blindness or significant vision loss are not suitable candidates for VRA due to the visual nature of the “reward”.