At Melbourne Hearing Care Clinic, we have a patient and family centered approach to healthcare and provide a full diagnostic hearing service to children from birth onwards. Differing tests will be used to test your child’s hearing depending on their age and developmental stage. All testing is delivered in a child friendly setting using toy-based play or distraction to minimize anxiety and create a fun and friendly environment. Tympanometry will also be performed at all paediatric appointments to assess the status of the middle ear and check for fluid buildup or Eustachian tube dysfunction, common causes of temporary hearing loss in children.
Paediatric diagnostic testing options available at our clinic include:
- Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
- Play Audiometry
- Kendal Toy Test
- Behavioural Observation Audiometry
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
- Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR)
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
As an approximate guide, hearing tests in the first few months of life are conducted while asleep and do not require the infant to respond to sound. (Please see infant diagnostic services for further information).
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
From around 8-9 months of age, Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is used to test hearing. Children are conditioned to turn to sounds by rewarding their responses with a puppet or visual image/animation on a screen. At this age, sound is typically presented via a speaker in the room. Not all children will tolerate wearing headphones or insert earphones at this age, so ear specific results are not always possible.
By 3-3.5 years of age, most children are ready for Play Audiometry. Play Audiometry involves a fun and interactive game where the child responds to sounds by performing a task (e.g., putting a peg in a board). Typically, at this age, sound is presented via headphones or insert earphones and information about the hearing in both ears can usually be obtained.