Children's community audiology - South Staffordshire
Worried about your child’s hearing?
Signs to look out for:
- Constantly asking you to repeat what you have said.
- Mishearing comments made to them.
- Difficulty locating your voice in a large or noisy area.
- TV / music being turned up loud, particularly if returning the volume to normal causes a child to lose interest.
- Needing to repeatedly raise your voice to get a response from them.
- Watches faces/lips intently.
- Tires quickly and becomes easily frustrated.
- Talks louder or more softly than expected.
- Persistent symptoms of congestion – constant mouth breathing, snoring, repeated ear infections or non waxy discharge from ears.
- Concerns in relation to speech and language development e.g. limited vocabulary, nasal speech etc.
Concerns raised by nursery/school:
- Change in attention levels.
- Deterioration in work.
- Change in behaviour.
- Increased “day dreaming”.
- Varying ability from week to week / month to month.
Often temporary hearing loss in children is caused by Glue ear (fluid in the middle part of the ear). The level of hearing loss can fluctuate, meaning that children may display some of the signs above on some days but not others. Further information on Glue ear.
What to do if you are concerned about your child’s hearing
Parents/carers with any concerns regarding their child’s hearing can request a referral to the Children’s Community Audiology team for a hearing assessment via their health professional (GP, Health Visitor, School Nurse, Speech and Language Therapist, Paediatrician). For further information on Children’s Community Audiology go to our website.
There are things you can do to help!
Improving the listening environment:
- Reduce background noise where possible.
- Consider where in the room is quietist or if another room will be quieter.
- Always speak to your child from the same room.
- Rooms with soft furnishings reduce echo.
- Sit where the light falls on the speakers face, rather than where they have their back to the light.
- Sit where any distractions from behind the speaker will be reduced.
When speaking to someone with a hearing impairment:
- Attract the child’s attention before speaking.
- Move closer to the child.
- Ensure the child is aware of the conversation topic.
- Do not shout.
- Do not over exaggerate lip movement.
- Speak clearly but not too slowly.
- Keep hands and other distractions away from the speaker’s face.
- Rephrase rather than simply repeating.
What does the children's community audiology team do?
We provide hearing assessments for children and young people from birth to 18 years of age. A range of hearing tests can be performed depending on the developmental age of the child.
Who can use the service?
Referral can be made by any health professional eg.
- Health visitor
- School nurse
- Speech and language therapist
Are there any costs?
There are no costs to the patient.
How can I refer?
Referrals are made using the forms in the download section.
Please send the completed referral form to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens after referral?
An appointment will be arranged in the first 8 weeks following receipt of the referral.
This will be sent out in a letter.
Who will we see?
Appointments are performed by audiologists, with input from specialist community nursery nurses and a paediatrician.
What happens when I come to the service?
Appointments last between 30-45 minutes.
The results of the assessment, along with any further assessments, treatment or onward referral will be explained to parents or carers at the end of the appointment.
A summary report will also be sent to the relevant involved professionals.
What happens when I become an adult?
If needed, a referral will be made to the hospital for further treatment.
Where do I go for further information?
- Children’s Community Audiology website which includes details of types of hearing test, and how to refer
- NHS website about causes of hearing loss in children)
- National Deaf Children’s Society for lots of information about temporary and permanent hearing loss.
Who to contact
- Referral required