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Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response or Auditory Brainstem Response (Unsedated)

Article Translations: (Spanish)

Your child is scheduled for this test at Children’s Minnesota.

Date: ________________________

Check-in time: _________________

Check in location:

Children’s - Minneapolis
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Children’s - St. Paul
345 North Smith Avenue
St Paul, MN 55102
Children’s Minnetonka
6050 Clearwater Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343


Please bring your child’s current insurance card(s) with you.  If you have questions about your insurance coverage for these services, or any special referral requirements, please contact your insurance company directly. They are best able to advise you about the specifics of your plan.

What is this test?

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) are two names for the same test. It is a way for the audiologist to measure how the ear is receiving sound and sending it to the brain through the auditory nerve. Unlike standard hearing tests, it does not involve a voluntary response from the patient.

Why does my child need it?

For children who are unable to show us reliably when they hear a sound, this test helps us determine the softest levels at which each ear is able to receive sound and send it to the brain. The information from this test allows you and the audiologist to plan the best treatment for your child.

Can I be with my child during the test?

Yes, you be in the room during the test. We discourage bringing any siblings as the room must remain quiet for the duration of the test. Please note that children are not allowed to be left in the lobby unsupervised. You can expect to be at Children’s for about 3 hours.

How is the test done?

It is important that children lay very still and relaxed with their eyes closed or sleeping during the test to get the best results.

Once your child is sleeping, the test will be started. It does not hurt. Sounds are sent through a small, soft earphone placed in each ear. The responses are picked up through small electrode stickers placed on the forehead and behind each ear.  The audiologist uses a computer to read and record the brain’s response to sounds.

What should we do before the test?

You child needs to sleep during the test. Please be sure your child comes tired and ready to take a nap for approximately 60-90 minutes.  You may feed your baby at the beginning of the appointment if that will help them to sleep. Try not to allow your baby to sleep on the way to the appointment, especially if you have a long ride.

We encourage parents to bring a favorite toy, blanket, or pacifier along to help your child feel more comfortable.

What can I expect after the test?

The audiologist will review the results and recommendations with you and send a report to your child’s doctor. If your child does not sleep, or sleep long enough to complete the test, you will need to schedule another appointment, likely using sedation.

Questions ?

If you have questions about the test, please call the audiology clinic.
For more information about sedation call:  __________________________________

Reviewed by Audiology 4/2018

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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