Is you child having trouble achieving their potential in the classroom?
As one of the many ways we make sense of the world around us, a lack or loss of hearing can have a significant effect on our lifestyle. Unlike our eyes and teeth, many of us take our hearing for granted and don’t get regular check-ups. But when something goes wrong, it can have a huge impact. If you are worried you may have any problems, even if they seem small, testing can greatly help and this is what the team at Affordable Hearing can offer.
Do you feel that your child as any of the following difficulties?
- Do they have difficulty remembering or paying attention at home or school?
- Do they have difficulty with reading and/or spelling, or ‘sounding out’ words?
- Are they confused about which direction sounds are coming from?
- Do they respond better in quiet situations but have trouble listening in noisy environments, such as with the TV, or in a noisy classroom?
- Have they had more than a couple of episodes of middle ear infections or ‘glue ear’ since birth?
- Do they become easily distracted when given more than one instruction?
If you answered yes to any of the above your child may have an Auditory Processing or Spatial Awareness Disorder. Early diagnosis (from 7 years on) is essential as some forms of therapy become ineffective after a child reaches adulthood. An example of this is the LiSN and learn program to remediate spatial awareness disorder.
Auditory processing disorders
Auditory processing disorders may have many symptoms including trouble reading and writing, an inability to hear or process sound in background noise, inattentiveness, poor capacity to concentrate, poor academic ability and so on.
Recent studies have shown that school children have the greatest difficulty with auditory processing when speech (such as from the teacher) is presented along with competing noise (such as talking from classmates & other classroom activities).
Auditory processing testing
A hearing test is always performed on the day to rule out any medical causes or temporary hearing loss such as middle ear infections. The procedure is as follows:
- Initially, we ask you to complete a case history. This provides the Audiologist with valuable information which assists in the diagnoses of your child.
- Next, the ear canal and ear drum are examined through an otoscope (ear torch). The Audiologist is assessing the possible presence of wax, condition of the ear canal and the condition of the ear drum.
- The function of the middle ear is subsequently assessed using tympanometry. A tip is inserted into the ear canal and a low pitch tone is presented while a small amount of pressure is applied. This allows assessment of the mobility of the ear drum and the three small bones in the middle ear.
- A hearing test or Pure Tone Audiometry is next This generally consists of Air Conduction, where soft foam inserts are inserted into the ears and the Audiologist plays a series of tones at different pitches. Your child’s responses to the quietest pitches presented are recorded by the Audiologist which forms a hearing graph (audiogram). . If thresholds are below normal bone conduction testing occurs, (which allows the Audiologist to differentiate between a middle ear problems (such as “glue ear” and inner ear problems such as “sensorineural hearing loss”). Here, the Audiologist places a bone vibrator on the mastoid bone (just behind the ear) and again your child’s responses to the quietest tones presented are recorded on the audiogram.
- If a medical issue is detected by the above testing you will be advised to see your GP/ENT and a report written prior to proceeding with further testing.
- Providing the above testing is passed your Audiologist will proceed to the Auditory Processing and Memory Testing Battery.
- The selection of tests may vary depending on where the child is having difficulties but will include the LiSN-S test (listening in spatialised noise), several auditory memory tests from the Test of Auditory-Perceptual Skills Revised (TAPS-R) and a test of binaural integration such as Dicotic Digits when required.
- Following testing, a detailed report is generated within 7 days with recommended treatment options your child. The Audiologist is able to call you should you have any questions about the report.
Call Affordable Hearing today to diagnose your hearing loss
The team at Affordable Hearing are proud to provide their knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and treating a wide range of problems, including auditory processing disorders and testing. Our Brisbane clinic provides you with an affordable, quality solution, ensuring you get the treatment you need. To book an appointment or to find out more about our services, call Affordable Hearing on 1300 658 742 or fill out the enquiry form to the right.