Normal hearing and normal auditory processing abilities enable children to engage with the world around them as well as develop their language, communication, social skills and educational achievement.

If you have any doubt at all about your baby or child’s hearing, have them tested. We offer hearing assessments for all children aged from 9 months.

Hearing from birth to kindergarten

A hearing screening test is now included in the routine assessments babies have in the first few days of life. These tests are designed to detect a permanent hearing loss in a child. A pass at birth indicates that the child has sufficient hearing for normal speech and language development.

Babies and children are  highly susceptible to temporary or fluctuating hearing loss. A hearing loss during this time may have a significant impact on a child's developing language and social skills. The skills established in preschool years are the foundation for future learning at school

Current research suggests early diagnosis of a hearing loss and appropriate intervention will encourage best outcomes.

Common causes of temporary hearing loss in children

  • build-up of wax in the ear canal
  • excess mucus in the eustachian tube, caused by illness such as a cold
  • middle ear fluid
  • middle ear infection (otitis media)

Indications that your baby can hear

  • newborn to eight weeks of age – startles or widens their eyes at sudden noises nearby, and is woken or stirred from sleep by noise
  • eight weeks to four months – looks towards direction of sound, and may quieten while listening
  • six to 12 months – turns head towards known voices or sounds, starts to babble
  • 12 to 18 months – knows the names of favourite toys, begins to imitate simple words and sounds
  • 18 to 24 months – has a small vocabulary of single words, and can understand simple directions such as ‘Give mummy the ball’
  • two-and-a-half to 4 years – has clear speech with a good vocabulary.

Signs of hearing problems in older children

  • doesn't respond when called
  • talks too loudly
  • watches the television with the volume turned up too high
  • pronounces words incorrectly
  • appears inattentive and prone to daydreaming.

Hearing in school age children

Hearing difficulties in school age children are known to have a significant impact on their social, behavioural and academic growth. As well as diagnostic hearing assessments for children we provide:

Educational hearing tests: Central Auditory Processing describes the skills used by the brain to extract meaningful information from sound. Efficient processing of auditory information is important for children to be successful in learning and communication. A Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) can lead to difficulties with educational achievement, social development and educational well-being.

Hyperacusis is an abnormal sensitivity or intolerance, a heightened sense of volume, and physical discomfort towards certain sounds, which other children can tolerate. Hyperacusis can develop in children with high anxiety levels, neurological disorders and auditory pathway problems.

Misophonia is a strongly aversive response to certain sound triggers, often made by family members (eg eating, breathing, noises etc), which can develop in children or teenage years.

Hearing from birth to kindergarten

Common causes of temporary hearing loss in children

Indications that your baby can hear

Signs of hearing problems in older children

Hearing in school age children

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