WHY ARE KIDS’ EARS SO IMPORTANT?
In young children, detecting hearing losses through observation is problematic, especially if the problem is mild or fluctuating. Typical screening methods often miss mild problems or hearing in only one ear. These difficult-to-spot conditions can have devastating effects on speech-language, social and academic development, just like a severe hearing loss.
- Concern from caregivers is the number one risk factor for hearing loss in children
- Comprehensive audiological testing is needed if any problems are suspected.
- Identifying risk factors from information about the family and child’s health and development.
- Applying specialised tests of ear health and hearing that do not require a response from your child.
- Playing hearing games tailored to the child’s age, ability and interests
The results and information we gather with you enable us to recommend further treatment and investigations, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to hearing health in children
None of this hurts
We will not hold your child down for testing
Can your baby go to Uni?
As always with children, hearing testing is a specialist skill. Here, our Audiologists are experts. In addition to looking after our smallest clients, our Audiologists lecture, train and supervise at the UWA Master of Clinical Audiology course.
Proudly, Medical Audiology Services is a centre for UWA Audiology clinical examinations. You and your child may even be invited to participate in this free program!
Behavioural Observation Audiometry
This is a technique for testing hearing in infants before they can show systematic responses to sounds (under 6 months). Experienced Audiologists observe the baby’s behaviour for specific changes in response to a range of sounds. This testing is usually done in a sound booth while you hold your baby in a comfortable position. The results are combined with advanced tests of ear function to provide you with a comprehensive insight into your baby’s hearing.
Visual Response Audiometry
For children aged from 6 months to 2 years and 6 months, we use dancing puppets as highly rewarding visual stimuli to train and assess children’s reaction to sound. We will explain the procedure and your role to you before seating you in a sound booth with your child. It is a very interactive and fun procedure tailored to maximise interest and cooperation in this age group. The objective and analysis of responses are very serious however; our experienced Audiologists analyse the results for validity, repeatability and consistency to provide you with an accurate picture of your child’s hearing obtained through play.
For children aged from 2 years and 6 months to 5 years, we use a ‘listening game’ test paradigm. In a sound proof booth, children are taught to perform a task in response to sounds heard through earphones. At Medical Audiology, we have multiple games available (building block towers, hammering, basketball and others), but the activities are only limited by the children’s and audiologists’ imaginations. This is a highly rewarding technique for young children, and when used by experienced Audiologists, it often provides a full range of reliable results, similar to adult testing.
You do not need a referral for a hearing assessment. For most efficient outcomes, it is best to have available any previous test results and reports.
As trusted Audiologists, we work closely with GPs, Ear Nose and Throat Specialists and Neurologists to ensure your child receives the best care.