The Childhood Hearing Clinic at the Queensland Children’s Hospital is a ‘one-stop shop’ where families of a child newly diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss can access the care, services and support they need to give them the best possible start in life.
The free clinic, part of the Child Development Program, aims to enable the families of children aged 12 months and under who have a permanent hearing loss to make informed decisions, understand their child’s medical needs and learn what to expect in the months and years ahead.
Our staff are here to support you in making the most appropriate decisions about your child’s future based on their individual needs and strengths.
How the clinic can help you and your child
- Help you understand your child’s hearing loss (including type and possible causes) and what services are available.
- Help you interpret how the hearing test results might affect your child’s listening and communication.
- Provide a developmental assessment of your child and create a medical care plan.
- Provide information about hearing aid technology and hearing aids (if recommended for your child).
- Start to build your child’s communication skills.
- Identify and explore reasonable expectations for your child as they grow and develop.
- Make referrals to other health professionals or services.
- Connect you with other families of children with a hearing loss.
How do I access the clinic?
The diagnostic audiologist at your local hospital will contact us and your local doctor upon diagnosis of your child’s hearing loss. Our clinic co-ordinator will contact you to discuss a plan and book an appointment at the clinic. Your child will be seen at the clinic as soon as possible after their hearing loss has been confirmed.
A number of health professionals work in the clinic. You may meet some or all of the following:
- A nurse is the clinic co-ordinator and will be your first point of contact at the clinic and guide your family’s journey through the clinic.
- A paediatrician will assess any medical and developmental concerns, investigate the cause of the hearing loss and refer to other specialists if required.
- An Australian Hearing paediatric audiologist will discuss your child’s hearing loss, possible amplification options and also fit the amplification device if required.
- A speech pathologist can help with communication, speech and language development.
- The Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service provides information, assistance and support.
- A support parent from the Deaf Children Australia’s Parent to Parent Program is there to offer a helping hand and friendly ear.
The clinic may also make referrals to other specialists and services your child may require, including ear nose and throat (ENT) specialists, ophthalmology, genetics services, and the Children’s Health Queensland’s Hearing Implant Program.
How the clinic works
Up to three appointments may be needed in the first few weeks to enable our team to undertake a thorough developmental and medical assessment of your child. In most cases we do not need to do any immediate further hearing tests.
After the first appointment, your child will be referred for investigations, tests or to other specialists if it is appropriate. We can try to establish the cause of your child’s hearing loss if you wish, however, please note it is not always possible.
Clinic session times vary from one to four hours long depending on who you need to see.
For more information
For further information about what your child’s hearing loss might mean for your family and your child, practical tips that might assist you on your way and other useful sources of information please refer to the Possibilities and Pathways resource.