Meeting with health professionals
When it comes to hearing loss, there are two main pathways in which your child can be assessed:
- Support and early intervention
A Family Support Facilitator can help you with each step of the process.
You and your child will need to meet with the following health professionals:
Ear, nose and throat specialist
When visiting an audiologist, they will recommend your child also sees an ear nose and throat specialist (ENT), who is trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. The ENT will check whether your child can get hearing aids fitted.
If your child needs hearing aids, they will organise an appointment to meet with Australian Hearing.
Who is Australian Hearing?
Australian Hearing is an Australian Government service which provides hearing devices, including hearing aids. They will discuss the different hearing technology options with you and provide you with information about the ear, how we hear and what happens with hearing loss.
After your child is fitted with hearings aids, you will then need to meet with the paediatrician.
A paediatrician is a doctor who specialises in the health and development of babies and children. They will give you information and support on the health and development of your child. You may also need to organise other assessments, including blood tests, and referrals to other medical specialists.
When attending CHC, your child will undergo different medical tests and talk to different health professionals. During your visit, you may come across some of these health professionals at the hospital.
If you have any questions after you’ve finished an appointment, you may find it also useful to write or talk to the Family Support Facilitator or health worker.
Queensland Health’s medical guidelines recommend that children with hearing loss undergo medical and development assessments.
|Different types of medical assessments
||Family history checks – A medical professional will talk to you about your child and family, including your pregnancy history, birth details and family health history.
|A physical examination of your child
(as required by the specialist)
|Radiology: The diagnosis and treatment of ear disease using an X-ray machine.
MRI scan: A medical imaging procedure that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures inside the body, to show tissue of the brain and the hearing nerve. Your doctor will check your child’s development and suitability for a cochlear implant if eligible.
CT scan: A CT scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of the bony parts of your child’s ear. Your doctor will check your child’s development.
Renal ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to make images of the kidneys, ureter, and bladder. Your doctor will check the development of your child’s kidney.
ECG (Electrocardiogram): An ECG records the heartbeat and rhythm and electrical activity of the heart.
|Family hearing tests
||If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, you can ask to get a hearing test for your other children, yourself and partner.
Here are some questions to think about when attending your appointment:
- Are there any other medical tests I still need to organise?
- Do I understand each assessment?
- Do I need to ask for more information?
- How can I make all the appointments easier for me to attend?
- Do I need to write down any important questions?
By attending your child’s medical appointments, you will gain a good understanding of your child’s hearing loss. This will help you choose what is important for your child and to make decisions about:
- Your child’s health needs, their development and any other support.
- How your child will develop their communication.
- What Early Intervention Service you might use.
- Any additional support your child may need, such as medical, surgical and/or hearing equipment and extra family care.
If you cannot attend, contact the service and change your appointment date.
For further information see the Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service — Possibilities and Pathways resource.