Children's Audiology Service - testing children's hearing

The Children’s Audiology Service, provided by the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, specialises in assessment and management of children's hearing from 0 to 16 years old.

Why is a child referred to Children’s Audiology?

Any health professional or school SENCO can refer to our service with parental consent. The most common reasons for making a referral to us is either because a parent or health professional is concerned about a child’s hearing or because a child has a health condition or syndrome that can be associated with deafness.

We also monitor some children’s hearing

Some children need their hearing to be monitored for a number of years. This is usually because they have a health condition or syndrome that means their hearing could deteriorate or they have a hearing loss in one or both ears and we need to be aware of any changes in one or both ears.

What happens during an appointment?

Most appointments take place in large sound proof booths. The type of test carried out depends on a child’s age. For younger children this usually involves playing games, for older children putting on headphones and listening for quiet sounds. Sometimes there are two testers present and sometimes just one, depending on the type of testing we do.

It is really helpful if other children are not present at the appointment. The presence of other children can affect the assessment.

Appointments can be between 30 and 60 minutes long. Our aim is to obtain accurate and reliable results that tell us about a child’s level and type of hearing in both ears. There will be times when we need two or three consecutive appointments to get all this important information.

What happens if my child has a hearing loss?

We always discuss the results of any tests with parents. We would talk through the impact of any hearing loss on a child’s speech, social, educational and general development. Following this discussion we decide on the most appropriate course of action for the child and their family. That might include one of the following:

  • To review a child’s hearing at an agreed interval.
  • Discuss interventions, such as hearing aids, with a child and their parents.
  • To discharge a child from the service.
  • To refer for further assessment at the local Ear Nose and Throat department or another department.

Do you provide hearing aids?

For children living in Brighton and Hove we would refer to the Royal Sussex County hospital for hearing amplification options.

Who else do you work with?

All our teams are based in child development centres (CDCs) which means we work closely with all the professionals in the CDC. We also work with a wide team of professionals that support children with hearing loss such as the sensory support service/ learning support service, social services, specialist speech and language therapists, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), etc.

How to contact us

Our assessment centres are open Monday to Friday - 9am to 4.30pm.

Maps are available on request

Brighton and Hove

Telephone 01273 242072

Where are you?

Our services are based at:

Seaside View Child Development Centre
Brighton General Hospital
Elm Grove
Brighton BN2 3EW  Accessibility at Seaside View

Hove Poly Clinic
Neville Avenue