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Early detection of hearing loss is important.

Babies use their hearing and voice to communicate long before they begin to speak. Undiagnosed hearing loss can therefore make learning to speak very difficult. New South Wales has an excellent newborn hearing screen program testing babies hearing before they leave the hospital.

However many young children can acquire a hearing loss after their new born screen and during important speech and language development years of childhood. Commonly hearing loss in young children is due to ear infection and is temporary. Nevertheless even temporary hearing loss can cause disruption to speech and language development and may cause behavioural problems.

How is hearing tested?

Child playing

Children and adults hearing are tested differently. Most children will be assessed on a combination of behavioural and physiological tests. The tests selected to assess hearing depends on;

  • Child's age
  • Information needed about the Child's hearing

Behavioural Tests

Behavioural tests are based on eliciting or observing a change in behaviour in response to sound.

From 1- 3 years old a child's hearing can be tested by conditioning them to turn to a sound when they hear it. Once conditioned the audiologist observes the child's responses to sound.

From 3 – 5 ½ years old a child's hearing can be tested with Play Audiometry. The child is encouraged to place a block in a bucket when they hear a sound

Physiological tests

Physiological tests help determine which part of the auditory system is involved in the child’s hearing loss. They measure a physical response of a specific part of the auditory system and require little or no co-operation from the child.

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  • Extensive knowledge and experienced Audiologists
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