[parents]

My child passed the newborn test, I don’t need to test their hearing again… right?

January 27, 2020

3 min read

No! You do need to test again!

We can’t stress enough how important it is to test your child’s hearing regularly throughout their education. Some parents have mistaken the newborn hearing test as a lifetime test of good hearing, but this is not the case. In fact, we suggest testing your hearing at least once a year – like you would your teeth and eyes.

Why do I need to test my child’s hearing again?

Hearing loss can occur at any age.

Different types of hearing loss can develop at different times. It’s particularly important to test children when they’re young because the sooner a child is identified with a hearing loss and the earlier they receive treatment or intervention, the better the outcomes and the lower the impact of the hearing loss.

If a hearing loss is left untreated, it can impact language development, literacy, self-esteem and social skills.

My child can hear me fine; do I really need to test their hearing?

Hearing loss can range from very mild to profound.

Those children with mild loss may manage perfectly fine at home but they may struggle in the classroom where background noise levels can be high. The signs of hearing loss can vary with some signs mistaken as behavioural problems, or simply as the child’s personality type, ‘she has a very loud personality’. Equally a child may appear shy or aloof.

For more info on how your children can be masters of disguise with hearing loss, read our blog post.

I’m worried about my child being left out if they have hearing aids

Your child’s health and wellbeing should be the number one priority and while we know that your child will likely be left out if they can’t hear, we also understand the concerns around children being ostracised for ‘looking different’.

Modern hearing aids are tiny so they’re not obvious and can be easily hidden by some well-placed hair. Wireless systems such as the Roger system can also be very effective particularly in classroom environments. If your child does need hearing aids, the earlier they are fitted the better chance they will have of their speech and language developing at the same rate as their classmates. Early intervention sets children up for a lifetime of success so don’t wait.

If your child requires hearing technology, it’s also an opportunity to teach your child to embrace and celebrate differences. There are wonderful books and resources that you can use to support your child.

Hearing Australia has a great resource for ‘What to do when you find out your child has a hearing loss’.

How can I test my child’s hearing?

The Sound Scouts App was developed in collaboration with the National Acoustic Laboratories to test a child’s hearing efficiently and easily from the comfort of your own home. It’s fun and engaging for your child, and provides you with a report that will advise if your child’s hearing is within the normal range. The report will recommend the next steps if a problem is detected.

Alternatively, you may choose to visit your GP or an audiologist. However, we suggest using the Sound Scouts App as a screening tool first because if your child has indications of an ‘inner ear hearing loss’ (confirmed by a Sound Scouts retest) you can use the Sound Scouts Report as a referral to see Hearing Australia.

The Sound Scouts App is available for download from the App Store or Google Play. For guidelines on how to test your child with Sound Scouts, click here.

Australia download link: https://www.soundscouts.com/au/download/

US download link: https://www.soundscouts.com/download/

UK download link: https://www.soundscouts.com/en-gb/download/

Australian Government Department of health banner

Sound Scouts is now FREE for Australian school children thanks to Hearing Australia and funding from the Australian Government. Support available on 1300 424 122