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Hearing tests

Depending on your child’s age we will try and test their hearing by getting them to respond to sound in some way. If the child is too young to test or we are having difficulty getting them to co-operate for the test, we can attempt to assess their hearing without them having to respond. For further information on this click on the ‘objective test’ link.

There are two different types of testing:

Behavioural tests

These are the main tests we do here at The Children’s Hearing Assessment Centre. They involve looking at how a child’s behaviour changes in response to certain sounds. This depends on the developmental age of the child:

  • age 0-6 months - behavioural observation
  • age 6 - 18 months - distraction; VRA
  • age 18 - 30 months - VRA; performance; co-operative speech recognition
  • age 30 - 60 months + - performance; PTA; McCormick toy test; BKB; ling sounds; plurals test


Useful information 

Most tests require the child to be awake and alert, so booking an appointment time when your child is usually awake often helps us obtain reliable results.

Your child’s attention has a big impact on how easily we obtain results; noisy siblings can easily distract the child being tested.

Most appointments last for 30 minutes, however specialist clinic and hearing aid reviews can last up to 1 ½ hours.

Test results are collected at the end of the appointment and discussed with the child’s parent / carers.

We generate reports from each appointment and send them to all the relevant professionals involved in your child’s care. We will also send you a copy.

Objective tests

We sometimes perform these tests at The Children’s Hearing Assessment Centre but also refer to the Evoked Potentials Clinic at the QMC for them. Testing involves recording the responses to sounds from various parts of the hearing system without the patient having to actively cooperate. This is usually done as part of the newborn screen. These tests do not depend on the developmental age of the child.

The test (for all ages) include:

  • Otoacoustic emissions
  • auditory brain stem response
  • middle ear admittance
  • middle ear reflexes