If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, click here for indicators, or if there is a history of hearing problems in the family, it may be a good idea to arrange a simple hearing screening test which can be followed by a more in-depth hearing assessment, where necessary.
You can arrange this by visiting your GP and they will consider a referral to the audiology department at the hospital or you can organise a private appointment with us at your convenience. Childhood hearing problems are dealt with very efficiently by the health service but there are occasions when you may require a more detailed explanation or advice at a time that is convenient to you in a non-hospital environment.
We offer a comprehensive information service and full report of your individual “child hearing assessment”. The report will be available to you and can be forwarded to GP, ENT and other professionals, including their school, as specified by you, the parent. As part of the assessment we offer a follow up appointment at a future date, which is included in the initial fee to assess progress.
Pre-School Children (10 months – 4 years old)
We are able to assess children from the age of approximately 10 months old, our main criteria is that the child is able to sit up unaided. We have a range of different tests both objective and subjective to suit all age ranges and abilities and it is likely that we will conduct a number of these during the assessment to provide a full picture of the type and level of hearing concern. Our primary objective is to conduct the assessments in a relaxed, informal, fun environment using toys, picture books, sounds and hand-held audiological equipment, with parents present in the room. We conduct all assessments in pairs so that we can have an assessor, observer and also we are able to distract the child effectively. We find this style of assessment to be most successful as the child’s interest level is maintained and the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere encourages greater response. Depending upon the results of the assessment we may require a follow-up assessment, this is included in the initial fee. We will provide a comprehensive report with our findings and recommendations, we will also provide reports for the GP, ENT consultant or other professional, as required.
School Age Children (4 years old +)
School age children can be assessed in the same way as pre-school children but part of the assessment will be to establish whether the child is able to undertake a full adult assessment of their hearing in the sound treated booth with headphones. The full adult assessment we present a series of tones at different frequencies and different intensities (loudness levels). If we are able to carry out a full audiometric assessment we are able, very accurately, to produce a clear picture of the child’s hearing. If we are unable to carry out a full hearing test in the booth the pre-school assessment is adapted to suit the older child and we are able to assess whether the child has a measurable hearing loss and where in the hearing range the problem is occurring and at what level.
With older children we are often required to report to their school the findings of our assessment, which we are pleased to do and find this is one of the most practical benefits of the child’s assessment. We can also arrange a visit to the school, to meet the teacher and advise on communication techniques specifically tailored to the child in question.