How your child’s hearing is assessed depends on their age and their ability to respond (i.e. developmental level). It is important to note that hearing assessments are FUN for your child and non-invasive.
For children 2 years to 5 years of age Play Audiometry will primarily be used to obtain their hearing levels. Here your child may respond to sounds played under headphones by playing fun games like building towers with pegs, putting together a Mr. Potato Head or completing a jigsaw puzzle.
Occasionally younger children in this age group will require sounds to be presented through a small speaker positioned to the side of your child. In this case your child will be taught to respond by turning towards the sound where they will be rewarded with an animated toy. Children thoroughly enjoy this assessment (as does their audiologist!).
Children > 5 years of age are generally happy to press a button when they hear a sound under headphones. Occasionally they may be encouraged to participate by having a competition with their audiologist.
Middle ear status
To determine your child’s middle ear status (health of their middle ear) a small probe will be placed in your child’s ear for approximately 10 seconds. A gentle puff of air is presented via the probe to measure eardrum movement and position. Generally children enjoy holding the hand-held computer which analyses middle ear status and watching “their ear draw a picture”.
If your child has been found to have a hearing loss, results from this assessment help determine where the problem may be located within their hearing system.
Speech discrimination tests are also selected based on your child’s age and developmental abilities. Older children may be asked to repeat words they hear under headphones, while younger children may identify pictures or toys with the audiologist testing using varying levels of their own voice.
On occasion additional tests may be performed or recommended by your child’s audiologist.