New mom, Kayla, knew something was wrong during a mid-April playdate. Her best friend’s child, Liza, a week younger than her Sophia began singing “Baby Shark”. The little girl just couldn’t get enough of it. Sarah sang and laughed.
But Kayla’s daughter, Sophia, didn’t sing along.
In fact, Soph, as the new mom called her precious angel affectionately, never sang songs. They streamed children’s songs continuously. In fact, she spoke few words, mostly “gibberish”. It was rarely something recognizable.
In that instant, Kayla knew her daughter needed care. The needed to go about choosing and audiologist for her child.
Your child’s hearing plays an essential role in their overall social and learning development. So determining if your child is suffering from hearing loss early on is so vital to their growth.
During your child’s regular visit with the family doctor, they may identify the possibility of hearing loss. If they do, they will recommend you visit an audiologist to determine a solution.
But how should you locate a genuinely caring and knowledgeable audiologist? How do you find someone as devoted to your child’s hearing health as you are?
Luckily, finding a trustworthy audiologist for your child isn’t as complicated as you may think. Let’s explore the steps to consider.
1. Begin Your Search
To begin your search, try requesting a list of reputable audiologists from your family doctor. Many doctors have go-to audiologists they’ve worked with in the past. They trust these audiologists to care for their patients. Or they may otherwise have a list of recommended audiologists in your area.
2. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Do you have health insurance? Children’s hearing may be covered. Contact your insurance provider for a list of audiologists covered under your current plan. Many insurance company websites are equipped with a rating system for healthcare professionals.
Use the feedback and experiences of other patients to gain more insight into each audiologist listed.
3. Request Recommendations from a Friend
Sometimes word of mouth can be more effective than searching for reviews online. Ask around. Request feedback from your friends and family members who’ve visited a local audiologist.
4. Make Sure the Audiologist Is Certified
Once you’ve obtained a list of audiologists, you’ll want to ensure they’re certified. We’ve provided the following list of websites to help you establish whether an audiologist is certified:
- American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
- American Academy of Audiology (AAA)
- Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA)
5. Ensure They Specialize in Children’s Audiology
Hearing is hearing, right? It might seem so. But pediatric audiology is distinctly different from other forms of audiology. That includes hearing tests for aging adults, job injuries, and the like.
First of all, pediatric audiology deals with early detection. This detection ideally occurs before a child can communicate that they’re struggling to hear. This involves an understanding of childhood developmental milestones. Audiologist for children know the unspoken signs of hearing loss.
Children develop at slightly different rates. So milestone timelines aren’t “set in stone”. A pediatric audiologist needs to understand when a missed milestone may indicate a hearing problem. They should be experienced in how to perform an age-appropriate screening.
Pediatric audiologists also frequently see children. So they and their staff know how to put children at ease.
6. Brand Independence
If an audiologist is too connected to a single brand, this may create a conflict of interest. Instead of exploring the best options for your child, they may recommend only items available from their brand of choice.
Every brand is different. Some are clearly better at specific types of hearing solutions than others. So you don’t want to be pigeon-holed into a particular brand, limiting your options.
An independent audiologist regularly explores all brands. They stay current with the latest developments. By doing so, they can offer you the best solutions.
7. Patient Care Standards
Your pediatric audiologist should have the highest level of patient care standards. You can determine this in several ways. First, explore online reviews. And talk with parents who have children who see the audiologist as you already have.
Next, assess how you feel during that first visit.
Is the office clean and aesthetically-pleasing? Is the staff helpful? Does everyone, including the doctor, work to put your child at ease? Do you get to see the same audiologist when you schedule an appointment?
These are some indicators of high patient care standards.
Choosing an Audiologist for Your Child
Following the above steps ensures you’ll locate an audiologist with a professional background for your child. In the end, your child will let you know if you’ve made the right decision by how comfortable and happy they appear with the audiologist.
Kayla and Soph found the caring team at Professional Audiological Services. They evaluated Sophia and helped Kayla understand treatment options. Today, Sophie is in pre-school and thriving in a classroom setting.
Are you currently choosing an audiologist? Find out why we’ll quickly become you and your child’s favorite audiologist. Contact us to schedule a hearing exam.