Hearing is an important sensory function, one that is often easily overlooked. These days all children born in Australia have a new born hearing screen, but how many children have a test after that? For most children who pass this initial test at birth, this can be only time they are seen by the audiologist.
This is something we want to change! This is because early intervention and management promotes good outcomes for kids. Taking half an hour out of your busy schedule to ensure you child has the tools to equip them for optimal functioning is a worthwhile activity, and one your child will likely enjoy.
Hearing testing for kids is fun and painless. It generally involves playing a game with the audiologist and often results in a reward at the end!
Our hearing clinic team of experts have put together the to 5 reasons your child should have their hearing checked:
1. YOUR CHILD IS JUST ABOUT TO START SCHOOL
Hearing is important for socialisation and also academic development. It is important to ensure that your child goes to school with all senses working well in order to give them the best chance. We so often remember to get our teeth & our eyes checked, but we tend to forget our hearing! It is recommended that children have their hearing checked as part of their 4 year old developmental check.
2. YOU HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S BEHAVIOUR
Hearing is not the first thing we think of when it comes to misbehaving at school, but it can often be the root cause. Children can act up out of frustration or embarrassment.
It is always best to rule out hearing in the early stages of any behavioural concerns and this will often be the first step by a health professional.
3. YOUNG CHILDREN ARE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO EAR INFECTIONS
It is estimated that children get up to 4 ear infections per year. Certain ear infections produce no pain or physical symptoms and can go unnoticed for a long time. The problem with ear infections, also called middle ear pathology, is that they often come and go very easily.
This means your child’s hearing is fluctuating and can impact on how they function. Little things like getting your child to blow their nose regularly can help to lessen the commonality of these in some cases.
4. YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR CHILDS SPEECH
Hearing is closely related to development of language and the production of speech in particular. If a child cannot hear the sounds properly, how can they learn to produce them correctly? More often than not, if you visit a speech pathologist, they will recommend getting your child’s hearing tested to rule out any issues.
5. YOU DON’T NEED A REFERRAL
If you are concerned, make an appointment. collective.care offers affordable pricing for children of all ages (4 years and above) and a copy of the results will be provided for your records. We take care in making your child feel comfortable and ensuring you understand the process completely.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT YOUR CHILD’S HEARING TEST?
Firstly, the audiologist will discuss any concerns you have in regards to your child’s hearing and speech. We will discuss any previous issues with their ears as well as general development.
Then, depending on the child’s age, we will likely look in your child’s ears for any wax or abnormalities and do a quick pressure test which is quick and painless. This test is able to tell us if there is any ear infections or issues with the movement of the eardrum.
We will move into the hearing test itself, called the audiogram. The audiogram is the gold standard for hearing tests and provides the most accurate information in terms of what your child is hearing. If you child is aged under 3 years of age we use a puppet box reward that involves getting the child to look in the direction of the puppet box when they hear the sound.
If your child is between 3 and 7, the test involves a game where the child is conditioned to perform a task every time they hear a sound. This game depends on the child and can include building a block tower or stamping a picture. When your child reaches 7 or over, they are usually capable of completing the adult test which involves pressing a button when they hear the sound.
If you have any questions about what happens during a hearing test, do not hesitate to contact us at collective.care, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Our hearing clinic is located at Bella Vista, in Sydney's Norwest region. You can contact us on 1300 344 325 or firstname.lastname@example.org (or contact us online here).