You'll meet many professionals at the audiology clinic and in healthcare settings including audiologists, audiological physicians, community paediatricians, ENT consultants, genetic counsellors and speech and language therapists (SLT).
The audiology department is part of the health service. It can help by:
- performing hearing tests
- telling you about the type and level of hearing loss that your child has
- finding out if hearing aids will be useful and, if so, supplying them
- providing earmoulds for your child’s hearing aids
- helping you maintain your child’s hearing aids
- monitoring your child’s hearing levels
- referring you to education support services for deaf children
- working with other professionals, such as ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors and Teachers of the Deaf, to provide support to you and your child.
Your child’s audiologist will carry out hearing tests and explain the results to you. To help you prepare for your child’s audiologist appointment we’ve produced a set of questions you may wish to ask the audiologist or ENT consultant.
If your child needs hearing aids, the audiologist will work out the best type and arrange for your child to have them. The audiologist will also monitor your child’s hearing to make sure that the hearing aids are appropriate.
Our hearing aids section is full of useful information that can help you understand what hearing aids can do and how they work.
Your child’s audiologist can refer you to a doctor who works with deaf children. Depending on where you live these doctors may have different titles.
An audiological physician (or audiovestibular physician) is a consultant doctor (a doctor who specialises in one area of medicine) who is trained to find out the cause and diagnose the type of hearing loss or balance disorder your child has and to give advice on and assist in the treatment and management of it.
Community paediatrician in audiology
A community paediatrician in audiology is a doctor specialising in children’s health with particular interest in hearing problems.
ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) consultant
ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) consultant is a doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and medical and surgical management of disorders, diseases and injuries of the ear, nose and throat.
The doctor you are referred to will be able to look into the causes of your child’s deafness and carry out any medical tests that are needed. Your audiology department will be able to give you more information about the doctor you will see.
Sometimes deafness is caused by genes passed on from parents. If this might be the case for your child you should be given the chance to discuss this with a trained genetics counsellor.
Genetic counselling gives families information about:
- the cause of a range of inherited conditions
- how an inherited condition might affect the child and family in the future
- how likely you are to have another child with the same condition.
Speech and language therapists (SLT)
Speech and language therapists offer support and advice to parents of children with any type of communication problem, including children with a hearing loss. They help children to develop their communication skills. This can be in sign language or in speech. Some speech and language therapists specialise in working with deaf children – these specialists are not available in every area.