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Has your child got a hearing loss?

Nothing can quite prepare us for a health problem or condition, particularly when it comes to our children.

Hearing difficulty or loss can be particularly baffling and frustrating for parents – if you can’t communicate properly with them, how are you to know what they are feeling or thinking?

The important thing to remember, however, is that there are professionals and services who can help you and your child. And with some basic points of information, the process of diagnosing and dealing with your child’s condition doesn’t have to be so daunting.

How do I know if my child needs a hearing test?

If your child presents one or more of the following symptoms, he/she may have difficulty hearing:

  1. You have to raise your voice to catch the child’s attention
  2. Frequent ear infections
  3. Failure to startle at loud noises
  4. Delayed speech and language development
  5. He/she does not always respond when called
  6. Displaying inattentive or withdrawn behaviour at school
  7. Repeatedly asks for things to be repeated
  8. Consistently turns one ear towards the source of noise
  9. Appears to have selective hearing, for example not responding when their name is called
  10. Child may appear to be clumsy as ear condition can cause balance problems
  11. Turning the volume up louder than usual on devices.

Assessing your child’s hearing

If you are concerned that your child may have hearing difficulty or loss, you need to investigate the situation. The best option is to book a hearing assessment for your child, with a Paediatric Diagnostic Audiologist.

International studies prove that early detection of hearing loss will result in improved academic and social outcomes for children and their families.

It’s important to ensure that you are bringing your child to a trusted testing centre with top-of-the-range facilities. Not only will this make the experience easy on your little one, but you can also rest assured that you’re getting the most efficient consultation possible.

When choosing a paediatric audiologist for your child, consider the following:

  1. Do they offer the latest in treating technology and equipment?
  2. Are they qualified in paediatric audiology?
  3. Can they offer a child-friendly environment for testing

Many companies offer paediatric hearing tests and care but Audiology Medical Services are the only audiology company in Ireland to offer state-of-the-art multi-sensory booths for children. Purpose-built for paediatric hearing testing (unlike other centres, who use adult versions), these booths provide the most accurate assessment possible, for children of all ages.

Prepare for testing

Once your child’s assessment has been booked, it’s best to do a little preparation in advance. Make a note of your concerns and any questions you may have and bring a trusted friend, or loved one, with you for moral support. At the appointment, share any questions with your child’s audiologist.

After listening to your concerns, the audiologist will explain what is going to happen during the assessment in simple, easy-to-understand terms. They will then carry out an age-appropriate assessment, providing feedback as well as a list of resources for your own reference.

How to deal with the appointment outcome

While your child’s assessment results can be overwhelming, it’s important to know that there is plenty you can do to help them and the family with the next step.

The first step is to find out as much information about your child’s diagnosis as possible – talk to professionals who can advise you and point you in the right direction with regards to resources.

Fellow parents of children with hearing loss can also prove to be an incredible source of both information and support. You should also familiarise yourself with the figures who will play a key role in your child’s treatment and development. These include:

Ear, nose and throat consultant

This is a professional who specialises in health and surgical treatment. Along with the audiologist, the ENT will explain any underlying medical causes of hearing loss.

Speech and language therapist

This therapist will assess and diagnose your child’s condition and promote communication through developing their speech and language skills.


Once an infant has been diagnosed with hearing loss, the audiologist will make a referral to the relevant paediatrician, if necessary. They will then carry out an evaluation, to determine whether there is an identifiable cause for your child’s condition.

Visiting teacher

This individual is a qualified teacher with specialist skills and knowledge. They will serve as the main point of contact at school for parents, advising and liaising with the lead co-ordinator.

How you can help your child

Treatment and assessment aside, there are certain steps we can take on a daily basis to help our child through what can often be a frustrating and challenging time. It’s helpful to bear the following expert advice in mind:

  1. Ensure you have your child’s attention before starting to speak
  2. Don’t speak too fast
  3. Face your child so they are able to pick up on visual clues and body language
  4. Use familiar language
  5. Don’t shout at your child – your speech can become distorted
  6. Don’t turn away from your child – instead, find a suitable place to talk
  7. Don’t cover your mouth, speak clearly, and use normal lip movements as well as natural facial expressions and gestures.
  8. Be aware it may be difficult for your child to hear you in the car.
  9. Inform your child's teacher


Audiology Medical Services has dedicated paediatric centres across the country. They provide an expert, comprehensive child-centred and family-friendly diagnostic audiological assessment of infants, children and adolescents. 

They are also the only company in Ireland with state-of-the-art multi-sensory sound rooms. These audiometric booths have been specially designed to provide the most accurate assessment possible, enabling trained staff to give the very best consultation for your child.

For more information, or to book an assessment, click here or phone 1800 501 501.


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