Whether your child has been seeing an audiologist since birth, or new to hearing loss, there are a few consistent things to expect at a child’s audiology appointment.
If you or your child has never been to an audiology appointment you might not know what to expect. There are a few common concerns misconceptions that parents have at their child’s first audiology appointment.
Usually the child has more concerns than their parent or caregiver, according to Phillipa James, an Audiology Manager for Autism at Phonak Australia.
James helped create a video that shows what a typical audiology appointment is like for a child. The video helps explain what is involved in the appointment, and what children can expect during testing.
“The social story plays an important role in introducing new children patients and their parents to what is involved in the whole appointment process,” she says. “It can answer any questions they may have, and can help to ease concerns they may have.”
There are a few things that parents or caregivers can do, to help children feel more comfortable at audiology appointments, according to James.
“Make a day out of it!” she says. “Many of the families I work with have an excursion to a museum, a fun activity or special lunch planned for before or after the appointment to make the day seem more fun or adventurous.”
Having them watch the video before their appointment will also help give them an idea of what to expect, and allow them time to ask any further questions they may have.
It’s also important to ensure the child that there are no right and wrong answers in the ‘listening games.’
“It is not a ‘test,’” she says.
Children often want to know if the test will hurt, or if the sounds will hurt their ears. The answer is no – the test is painless and they won’t feel a thing.
Parents will often ask whether they should sit in the testing room with their child or wait outside in the waiting area. Typically, the child will sit inside the booth, and the parent will wait outside. They will be able to see their child though the glass windows.
Parents might also want to know how their child did in their tests, or if there is anything they can do to help improve their child’s listening skills. The audiologist will be able to answer all these questions and concerns individually, at the end of the appointment.
Read more: Hearing Loss in Children
There are a few important things the audiologist should also know, including:
Read more: Your audiologist – a life long relationship
Audiologists play an important role in your child’s hearing health. They will often be a long-term partner on their hearing journey, and will quickly come to know their audiologists. With all the ear mold fittings, hearing aid adjustments and developments throughout their life, their audiologist will be an important partner.
After a few visits to your audiologist, it will be like spending time with a good friend.