The Ling sound check: An everyday, easy way to determine a child’s access to sounds

These days, technology in listening devices can tell you many things about what a child should be able to hear.  But sometimes you may not have all the needed information, or perhaps you don’t know how to interpret it.  You can always use the Ling sound check to help figure out if a child is able to hear all the sounds of speech.  A child needs to consistently hear all the sounds of speech to learn spoken language effectively.

The Ling sound check is a quick and easy tool to do with children daily.  It’s best if the same person performs this check, but anyone is able to do it-even a substitute teacher.  A good point person is the school nurse, first-hour teacher or SLP or TOD if one is available.  We recommend keeping track of how the student responds.    Over a few days or weeks, look for consistent unexpected changes in the child’s responses and report them to parents and pediatric audiologist right away.  You might discover the student’s battery is dead, or perhaps he doesn’t have a battery at all.  Furthermore, the student may have something temporary such as an ear infection or more permanent such as a change in hearing.

Check out the video below to see how to perform the Ling sound check.  Download the procedures to share with parents or other school staff.



Jennifer Manley was a teacher of the deaf and associate coordinator of the Emerson Center for Professional Development at Central Institute for the Deaf- CID. Ms. Manley is co-author of the CID SPICE for Life auditory learning curriculum and author of the 2nd Edition CID SPICE auditory training curriculum.


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