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Why hearing loss can be mistaken for something it’s not!

Children are ‘masters of disguise’ when it comes to hearing loss. They can develop mechanisms to deal with and cover up their hearing loss such as lip-reading or copying their peers or siblings. Sometimes, the consequence of their undetected hearing loss may be disguised as a personality trait, such as being shy or hot-tempered, or even as a learning, behavioural or speech issue.

It’s important to rule out hearing loss as the cause of learning and behavioural issues before

extensive, and expensive, behavioural diagnostics are carried out. If you haven’t checked your child’s hearing, your child could be at risk of being misdiagnosed with behavioural issues such as ADHD.

An estimated 1 child in every 10 has a hearing loss. Even a mild hearing loss can impact a child’s hearing, and in turn, cause listening fatigue, gaps in conversation, and hinder learning in a noisy classroom environment.

A major issue with hearing loss going undiagnosed and untreated in children seems to be the misconception around hearing tests. While the newborn hearing check is extremely important, particularly in identifying babies born with moderate to severe loss, it is not the one and only time children should have their ears checked. Hearing loss can develop at any time, whether it be from a viral infection, injury, genetics or most commonly, glue ear.

Tick ‘hearing check’ off your ‘to do’ list this year by making use of the government-funded Sound Scouts hearing app. The app is free and clinically-approved and was specifically developed to provide all children in Australia with access to a hearing check. The test is delivered in the form of a short game so it’s fun and easy to use. All you need is a smartphone or tablet, a good quality pair of adult headphones and a quiet space.

The free Sound Scouts app, funded by the Department of Health, is a simple way to identify if a child (aged 4+) has an hearing issue. Clinically proven, the app incorporates the science of a hearing test in a short, fun, interactive game. It's simple to set up and delivers an immediate result.

This article was contributed by Sound Scouts. For more information, see

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