Glossary Terms: E

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The ear has three main parts:

-Outer ear: The auricle or pinna (the part of the ear on the outside of the head) and the ear canal.
-Middle ear: Located between the outer ear and the inner ear, separated from the ear canal by the eardrum. The middle ear contains three tiny bones (the ossicles). The ossicles sound vibrations from the eardrum to the fluid of the inner ear.
-Inner ear: The innermost part of the ear. It is composed of the hearing organ (the cochlea), the balance mechanism (the semicircular canal), and the auditory nerve. Vibration transmitted into the inner ear by the ossicles in the middle ear causes waves in the inner ear fluid, which stimulates the hair cells and the hearing nerve, causing electric signals to be transmitted to the brain, and interpreted as sound.
Other parts of the ear:

Ear Infection
Presence and growth of bacteria or viruses in the ear. 

Ear Wax
Yellow secretion from glands in the outer ear (cerumen) that keeps the skin of the ear dry and protected from infection.

Early Detection
Early detection simply means discovering a hearing loss at a very early age, hopefully in the first few days of life. Advances in research and technology have created the means for this to happen. Previously, children’s hearing could only be tested by observing a child’s behavioral responses to sounds. Today’s automated hearing screening devices do all of the work, so even a newborn’s hearing can be measured.

 Early Intervention
A specialized program to help a child immediately after detection. Time is of the essence because a child’s brain is programmed to learn language during the first 6 years of life—the first 3 years being the most critical. After this period, it is very difficult to acquire language and speech skills. Early intervention involves fitting children with hearing aids, providing counseling and support for parents, and teaching parents how to stimulate speech and language in their child.

Early Intervention Services
Services to infants and toddlers provided under Part C of IDEA. Part C established the Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities, a federal grant program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities aged birth through 2 years and their families. Early intervention services include multi-disciplinary evaluation of needs of children and family-directed identification of the needs of each family as set out in an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

Educational Interpreter
A person who is able to perform conventional interpreting, together with special skills for working in the educational setting. (Source: National Task Force on Educational Interpreting, 1989). For more detailed information, see Oral Transliterator in the section on Support Aids.

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs are formal, publicly-supported programs which involve Pediatric Diagnostic Audiology (including OAE and ABR tests), Early Intervention, Family Support, Patient Data Management, and Program Evaluation. Funding for these programs began with the Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 1999.

The determination that a student is a child with a disability.

A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the body's glands and hormones.

Fluid in the labyrinth (the organ of balance located in the inner ear that consists of three semicircular canals and the vestibule).

Enlarged vestibular aqueducts (EVA)
Vestibular aqueducts are narrow, bony canals that travel from the inner ear to inside the skull. A vestibular aqueduct is often considered enlarged if it is greater than 1.5 millimeters in size. Research suggests that most children with EVA will develop some degree of hearing loss.

Evoked Response Audiometry (ERA)
A hearing test which uses an EEG (electroencephalograph) and a computer analysis to directly record the brain's response to sound. Useful in helping to determine a child's hearing level when the child is too young to cooperate with the audiologist.

Extend Ear
An FM auditory trainer without a body unit or cords. It can also function as a personal hearing aid. For more detailed information, see FM Systems in the section on Auditory Devices.

Extended School Year Services (ESYS)
Extended school year is special education services for students with unique needs who require services in excess of the regular academic year. Extended year often refers to summer school.