Paediatric Services for Children
Testing children for hearing loss is a large part of Mac Hearing’s activity. Hearing is such an important prerequisite for children’s development. A hearing test will be required for many other professional evaluations, such as with an ENT, Paediatrician or Speech Pathologist.
Paediatric hearing assessment requires skill and experience. Depending on your child’s age and capabilities we may use a range of audiological tests which children do not usually find stressful.
There are three key types of testing:
• Behavioural testing
• Speech Perception testing
• Objective testing
The type of behavioural testing we use will depend on your child’s developmental age. The tests are based on behaviour changes in response to sound. Your child may wear headphones or inserts in their ear canals during tests.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry for Babies and Toddlers
Age: 6 months to 2 years old
How it works: Seated between two visual reinforcing reward boxes with a speaker on top of each one we will seat your child. A sound is played from one of the boxes on the left or right. As the child turns to the sound they are presented with a visual reward such as a puppet in the box.
Once your child knows to turn to one of the boxes when a sound is played we test their hearing. The test contains a range of tones or fun warbles, reducing intensity to check which levels they can hear.
Conditioned Play Audiometry for Pre-schoolers
Age: 20 months to 5 years old and your child must be able to follow simple instructions and commands.
How it works: your child will be asked to perform an activity each time they hear a sound. The activities use fun games such as placing pegs on a pegboard or dropping marbles into a marble race,
Pure Tone Audiometry for Children
Age: School age and older
How it works: Your child will be asked to press a hand held button whenever they hear a sound played to them. Tones of varying frequency and intensity will be played,. The loudness of the sounds are reduced until they stop responding.
Speech Perception Testing
These tests may be used to compare with and confirm the other test results. From here we can see if your child is able to detect small differences between the sounds of English that are important to understanding. The test used will vary depending on the age and capability of the child.
Your child will be asked to identify an item from a group of toys whose names rhyme, but have different sounds. For example, ‘key’ or ‘tree’ and ‘car’ or ‘star’.
PLOTT Picture Vocab Test
This is a picture version of the toy test. Here your child will be asked to point to one of twelve drawings of items with different vowels, for example ‘key’, ‘car’, ‘book’.
Recorded AB Words
Your child will be asked to repeat a word they hear on a recorded list. They will be played to your child at soft and at moderate sound levels.
These tests do not require a response from your child but test their ears for potential hearing concerns.
What it tests:
- fluid in the middle ear
- perforation of the eardrum
- wax blocking the ear canal
- mobility of the eardrum.
How it works: by pushing air pressure into the ear canal, making the eardrum move back and forth.
Acoustic reflex measures
What it tests: the contraction of the tiny muscle in the middle ear
How it works: by playing different levels of sound to test the acoustic reflex to determine the type of hearing loss.
What it tests:
- the tiny hair cells in the cochlea
How it works: by measuring the sound that the inner ear echoes back when played a sound. These are measured with a small probe inserted into the ear canal.