How Is A Pediatric Audiologist Different?Mar 11, 2016
A child needs an optometrist to check their eyes, a dentist to check their teeth, and an audiologist to check their ears. But not all audiologists are equipped to work with children. Learn about the important differences a pediatric audiologist brings when diagnosing and treating hearing loss in children.
A pediatric audiologist's primary focus is the early detection and treatment of hearing loss in children. Trained specifically to work with infants and children, a pediatric audiologist has special equipment and administers hearing tests specifically for children. A pediatric audiologist can also provide a more kid-friendly atmosphere for office visits, which is an important factor for children who may have anxiety about their hearing.
Children Are Not Small Adults
Children are different from adults both psychologically and physiologically. Their anatomy is smaller, they are still growing, and different factors may affect their hearing compared to adults. Pediatric audiologists have extra knowledge and training on hearing loss in children. A pediatric audiologist is also trained to speak to children differently than adults, asking and answering questions in a way that is child-friendly. Those differences allow for the most accurate information to be gained from a child’s hearing evaluation, so any intervention that is implemented is both necessary and appropriate.
Parents Are Part Of The Process
A pediatric audiologist also works with parents, and supports them as they make decisions for their child’s hearing health. When a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, the pediatric audiologist can provide the parents with a wide variety of educational materials and parental support as families go through this transition.
Hearing Health Is Critical For A Child’s Development
A child’s hearing is a vital component in their language and speech development. Hearing loss can impair learning, social skills, and communication. Early detection of any hearing impairment is critical to avoiding difficulties at home and at school, and sets the child up for future success if living with a hearing impairment,
When Should You See A Pediatric Audiologist
A child may not be able to tell you if they have difficulty hearing, and may not even know what normal hearing should sound like. Thankfully, we know a variety of conditions that may indicate a hearing loss in a child. We recommend taking your child to see a pediatric audiologist if they display any of the following symptoms or behaviors:
- Inattentiveness or poor concentration
- Not responding when their name is called
- Talking loudly and listening to the TV or music at high volume
- Can’t pinpoint where a sound is coming from
- Mispronouncing words
- Slow progress in school
Considering that your child may have a hearing loss can be frightening. But with a proper diagnosis and treatment from an experienced pediatric audiologist, children with hearing loss can live active and full lives.
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