Hearing services at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9845 2139 
Fax: (02) 9845 2102 TTY 98452703 
Location: Speech Pathology - Deafness Centre Unit, Outpatients building, level 2

How to make an appointment
Phone the Secretary on (02) 9845 2139.

The Deafness Centre is a multidisciplinary child development clinic for children with permanent hearing loss.  We provide an assessment, diagnosis and counselling service for hearing impaired and deaf children and adolescents, and their families.  Our team includes paediatricians, allied health and education professionals.

We liaise closely with Australian Hearing, The Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, schools and early intervention services including the Department of Education, The Shepherd Centre, the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children and the Catherine Sullivan Centre.

Referrals

Phone the Deafness Centre on (02) 9845 2139 to request an appointment with the Deafness Centre or Microtia Clinic. The Intake Officer will collect background information and send out a questionnaire so that we can collect appropriate information such as audiograms, school information, speech pathology reports etc, prior to the appointment.  The intake process ensures that families can gain maximum benefit from the first visit. 

Please arrange a doctor’s referral addressed to the paediatrician who will see your child in the Deafness Centre.

Services

For children diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss the Deafness Centre provides:

  • General information and support
  • Information on early intervention options and communication methods
  • Information on the cause of deafness, including genetic counselling and testing
  • Hearing aid clearance
  • Diagnosis of additional physical, intellectual or learning difficulties
  • Assistance with management of behavioural and emotional difficulties at home and at school

The Deafness Centre coordinates the Microtia Clinic for children with absent or unusually formed external ears in conjunction with the Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons and the Plastic surgeons.

The paediatricians provide assessment and investigation of children with hearing loss and work with allied health professionals, educational consultants and families to forma a care plan that is specific to the child’s and families’ needs.

The social worker is available to given support and counselling to families whose child is diagnosed with permanent hearing loss.  The social worker can help with issues including:

  • Understanding and coming to terms with your child’s hearing impairment
  • Counselling and therapy with children, parents and families
  • Resources, information and referrals to community resources
  • Education and support groups for families with a child with hearing loss

The education consultants support families by providing:

  • Information on education options for early intervention, school age children as well as advice for school leavers
  • Educational assessments
  • A learning program for the child
  • Advice to teachers on teaching strategies and classroom management
  • Liaison with school and education centres
  • School visits

The educational psychologists at the Deafness Centre have expertise in working with children with a hearing impairment.  They conduct cognitive and developmental assessments.  They also can assess academic, behavioural and emotional issues.

What is the Microtia Clinic?

The Microtia Clinic was established at The Children's Hospital at Westmead to help parents gain appropriate advice about their child's microtia. The clinic provides assessment by  a plastic surgeon,  ENT surgeon, a paediatrician, an education consultant and social worker.   

Microtia Clinic staff  will advise on current treatment options to improve your child’s hearing and alter the appearance of their ears. Usually the surgery for this condition is not done until your child is over eight years of age. Children have ongoing reviews to monitor progress with speech and language and provide updated advice on treatment.

The clinic is co-ordinated by a paediatrician who also reviews the child for a cause of the microtia and associated problems. An education consultant, who is a teacher of the deaf, is able to offer educational advice. A social worker is also available for children and their families to provide support and counselling.

For a detailed overview, including frequently asked questions, please visit the Microtia Clinic website at www.microtia.com.au. The Microtai Clinic is part of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. All services are covered under Medicare. Please make sure you bring a referral and your Medicare card to each visit.