Hearing plays a critical part of a child’s development. Hearing problems can lead to delays with speech and language development, problems at school and developing social skills.
How we help
Our experienced team carries out a full assessment of your child’s hearing and any connected hearing issues within 6 weeks of referral (we receive referrals from a range of sources including the newborn hearing screen). We then arrange suitable care for any issues we have found.
Getting ready for your appointment
Some tests may involve using headphones (depending on your child’s age), if possible please try and teach your child to be comfortable wearing them.
Please try and arrange childcare for any other siblings as our hearing tests will take place in a quiet room.
What happens at your appointment
Your child will be seen by our paediatric audiologists (one or two) who are trained to test children’s hearing. The appointment is usually 30 minutes to an hour. Sometimes we need to bring your child back for a second appointment. We aim to see you on time but sometimes clinics can be delayed.
We will ask you some questions about your child’s hearing, medical history and any family history of hearing problems.
We will change the way we carry out the testing based on your child’s age and ability. Once a child is approximately 8 to 10 months old we try to test their hearing by getting them to respond to sounds in other ways through play. It is important your child is awake. We carry out the hearing test in a quiet room, so if possible it is best to attend the appointment without siblings.
We will also look in your child’s ears and we may do some other tests if required.
What happens if a hearing loss is identified?
Depending on the type of hearing loss your child has, the right support and management will be given. This may involve monitoring, referring to another professional or fitting of a hearing aid.
What if my child needs a hearing aid?
If your child needs a hearing aid we will discuss the use of increasing sounds and any alternative options. Within our service we fit hearing aids based on the needs of the child. We will also sometimes refer your child to a Paediatrician or the Ear, Nose and Throat service (ENT) for their medical opinion.