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What is my child hearing: Using the Ling-6 Sound Check

The Ling-6 sound check is a simple activity that uses six sounds to check if a child’s hearing aids or cochlear implants are working well. It can be done anywhere and anytime you want to check how your child is hearing with his/her cochlear implant or hearing aids.

The sounds used for the Ling-6 sound check are: “ahh”, “eee”, “ooo”, “mmm”, “shh”, and “sss”. These sounds range from about 250-4000 Hz and represent speech in the low, mid, and high frequencies. Some resources now refer to the sound check as having 7 sounds, with no sound being included in the check as well. Watch the 6 sound test being used for detection of sound with a very young child.

Young children and listeners who are new to hearing aids or cochlear implants benefit from being taught how to respond to the six sounds. To teach children to repeat the sounds, pictures for each sound can be used. In the initial learning stage, any response from the child when they hear the sound, such as eyes widening, dropping a toy into a bucket, or attempting the sound, should be rewarded (example: clapping, saying, “Yes, I heard it too!”). Over time, children can learn to pick the right card or say the sound they heard. The sound your child produces tells you what they are hearing using amplification. Moving farther away from your child or adding some noise are ways to work at a higher level.

This quick and easy listening check is good for children of a variety of ages and settings.

Watch the example above of an early listener being introduced to the six sounds and their pictures. Get your own set of the Ling-6 picture cards (PDF) that you saw in the video. Here is another information sheet with some tips on doing the Ling-6 sound check (PDF) with your child.