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Your support team

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There will be many professionals who form part of your baby’s support team. The professionals are part of a multi-disciplinary team. They are there to guide and support you and assist you in learning about your child’s hearing loss.

When your child needs to see a specialist doctor, you will need a referral from either your GP or another specialist doctor. Referrals from GPs are valid for 12 months. Referrals from other specialists are valid for 3 months.

General Practitioner (GP)
A General Practitioner or GP specialises in family medicine and is usually the first point of care for most people seeking health care. A GP can provide ongoing care for a variety of medical problems. It is highly recommended that you find a good GP who suits your family’s needs. Your GP can provide referrals to specialists your child may need to see and coordinate your child and family’s ongoing medical and healthcare needs.

Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT)
ENTs are doctors trained in the medical and surgical treatment of ears, nose and throat conditions including hearing disorders and ear infections. The ENT can investigate possible causes of your child’s hearing loss and treat any underlying ear infections. Some ENTs also perform cochlear implant surgery. All children with a hearing loss should see an ENT.

A paediatrician is a doctor who specialises in the care and treatment of babies and children. The paediatrician will monitor your child’s growth and development and any ongoing health needs. It is recommended that all children with a hearing loss see a paediatrician.

Geneticists are doctors who specialise in genetic diseases or disorders. A geneticist can investigate whether your child’s hearing loss has a genetic cause and advise you on the risks of a similar genetic hearing loss if you have more children.

An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating disorders of the eye. It is recommended that your child should be referred to an ophthalmologist after it has been confirmed they have a permanent sensorineural hearing loss and then regularly throughout their childhood.

A small number of children with a hearing loss may need to also see:

A cardiologist is a doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

A nephrologist is a doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease.

Other healthcare professionals

An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in diagnosing, managing, treating and monitoring hearing and balance problems. Audiologists fit hearing aids and map cochlear implants. The audiologists at Hearing Australia will be responsible for your child’s audiological management until they turn 26.

Speech pathologist
A speech pathologist has been trained to assess and treat people with communication difficulties. Speech pathologists deal with all aspects of communication including speech, writing, reading, signs, symbols and gestures.

Social worker
Social workers are trained to provide counselling, guidance, and assistance, especially in the area of social services. The social worker can provide assistance in accessing services and resources.

Early intervention professionals

Teacher of the Deaf
Teachers of the Deaf are teachers who have done additional training to teach children with a hearing loss. Teachers of the Deaf work in a variety of settings including early intervention programs and public and private schools. Some Teachers of the Deaf visit children at home, preschool or school and are called Itinerant Support Teachers or Advisory Visiting Teachers.

Early Childhood Teacher
Early Childhood teachers are trained in the education and care of young children. They plan and provide experiences that develop all aspects of a child’s learning and development.

Auditory-Verbal Therapist
Auditory-Verbal Therapists are trained in Auditory-Verbal Therapy which encourages children with a hearing loss to use their hearing to listen, process verbal language and speak.

Your support team – quick reference

You may like to print this form and write down the details of the professionals who are part of your support team for quick reference.

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