Triple L Paediatric Speech Pathology and Audiology, Redlands City

Paediatric Audiology

Paediatric audiology services for your child in a caring, supportive practice in the Redlands

What is paediatric audiology?

Audiologists are allied health professionals who manage ear and hearing problems in adults and children from as young as 18 months old. Paediatric audiologists assess children to determine whether they may have ear, hearing or listening difficulties and help design interventions to manage or overcome them. Our Paediatric Audiologist, Kristen Kwan, is an Accredited Audiologist with Audiology Australia

What can an audiologist diagnose?

Most babies in Australia have their hearing checked soon after birth but hearing loss and auditory processing difficulties may arise after this time. An audiologist is a university-trained health professional who can diagnose a range of ear-related problems including different types and degrees of hearing loss, auditory processing difficulties, and even balance problems.

What is auditory processing?

Auditory processing is the ability to interpret the sounds that you hear, identifying them and attaching meaning to them. To assess these skills, your child will need to have an auditory processing assessment.

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What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?

The term Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) covers a diverse range of symptoms that can affect listening, language and literacy skills. People with APD experience an atypical ability to attach meanings to incoming sounds. This means that people with this disorder can’t process what they hear in the same way others do. This error can occur at any point along the hearing pathway from the auditory nerve that connects to the inner ear to the auditory centre of the brain and beyond.

This disorder affects around 3%–5% of school-aged children and especially affects the way the brain recognises and interprets speech and language. Some signs of APD include:

  • Difficulties listening to spoken speech and language, especially in noisy areas
  • Mishearing sounds and words
  • Difficulties with fast speech
  • Trouble localising where sound comes from
  • Slow information processing
  • Fatigue or exhaustion after prolonged periods of listening
  • Problems recognising or detecting subtle sounds in words
  • Monotone speech because of trouble recognising changes in tone, pitch and loudness in others
  • Trouble following verbal directions
  • Spelling and phonics difficulties

Next steps after an auditory processing disorder diagnosis

There is no known cure for auditory processing disorders. However, early intervention and effective treatment strategies can help with managing the difficulties that arise as a result of auditory processing disorder and the development of the auditory pathway over time.

A paediatric audiologist can work with you and your child to perform an auditory processing assessment, which will help to identify the most effective practices for the management of their specific difficulties.

When to be concerned

Concerned that your child may have an auditory
processing disorder? Take our auditory processing
disorder assessment quiz today.

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

Hearing loss in children can be partial or complete, temporary or permanent, and can be caused by a wide range of factors. Your child’s hearing is absolutely essential for many aspects of their development including language, literacy and social skills so this is an issue that you should never ignore.

Early diagnosis by an audiologist is the only way to identify whether your child may have hearing or listening difficulties and the treatments that will help the to overcome these difficulties. Children should have hearing tests as part of their regular check-ups. However, your child might need additional testing if they:

  • Have frequent ear infections or other illnesses related to the ears
  • Have trouble locating the source of sounds or voices
  • Don’t startle at sudden sounds or are overly distressed by loud sounds
  • Experience speech delays
  • Have trouble developing correct speech sounds

What is a children's hearing assessment?

A children’s audiology assessment varies depending on their age, ability, and circumstances, but will usually include testing the movement of the eardrum and a behavioural hearing test to determine whether they are able to hear soft sounds. Should you have concerns regarding your child’s ability to listen properly, an auditory processing assessment can also be carried out. 

Expert Paediatric Audiology

Ensure that your child has everything they need
to make the best possible start in life.

How long does a hearing test take?

Children’s hearing tests are usually performed as quickly as possible, but this depends on your child’s responses and the results. Usually, a paediatric hearing test takes between 30 minutes to an hour, while an auditory processing assessment can take up to 2 hours. 

How often should a child have a hearing test?

Babies in Australia usually have their hearing tested soon after birth. Your child should also have their hearing tested as part of their regular check-ups, or you can choose to get them tested when you or anyone else in your child’s life has concerns about their hearing or development.
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