Parents are naturally concerned about the wellbeing of their children and when a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, it can be stressful and emotional.To give your patients the guidance needed to make informed decisions for their child, here’s a guide to referring them for a hearing check.
Government-subsidised hearing checks for children
- Newborn screening programs: These are provided at no extra cost to the parents and vary between each state and territory.
- Public screening programs: Each state and territory has audiology services available for children, Audiology Australia provides an index of all locations in each state and territory. Please refer your patients to their nearest service centre. Audiology Service Directories
- Hearing aids and other services: Children already diagnosed with hearing loss will most likely need hearing aids or a listening device of some kind. Children under 25 can receive government subsidised services from Australian Hearing, such as hearing aids, at no cost. Children who are unlikely to develop a hearing loss but need assessment for other reasons may also be able to access state or territory government-subsidised services. This largely depends on the child’s condition and the state in which they live in so you should refer them to a qualified audiologist for further guidance.
Non-government-subsidised hearing checks for children
Children who are unlikely to develop hearing loss and need assessment for other reasons, but are unable to get government-funded services, will need to pay a fee. There a number of options available to parents at varying price points.
- Hearing assessment with an audiologist: Available to children 3 years and older. The audiologist will assess the child’s hearing and middle ear function and advise next steps for managing the child’s hearing needs. Cost: $105.00.
- Sound Scouts App: Download from iTunes or Google Play store and designed for tablet. Suitable for children 4 to 15 years old. Developed by the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) and cmee4 productions, Sound Scouts is a game that screens a child’s hearing and will suggest next steps if a problem is detected. Soundscouts.com Cost: $14.99.
- Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) assessment: For children 6 years and older. This identifies specific listening difficulties that affect a child’s speech development despite not having hearing loss. This is treated through a remediation program. Cost: $350.00.
Australian Hearing is the country’s leading hearing loss specialist. All our paediatric audiologists have a Masters in Audiology and have undertaken specialised training to assist children and young people. For more information, contact us today.