Sound Scouts has partnered with one of Sydney’s leading child psychology clinics, Kids & Co, to integrate hearing screening into the practice’s behavioural assessments.

This industry-first partnership will see Kids & Co. incorporate the Sound Scouts digital hearing test into relevant behavioural assessments, such as those for potential ADHD diagnoses.

Sound Scouts CEO and Founder Carolyn Mee says, “We are incredibly excited to be working with Dr Anna Cohen and her clinical teams at Kids & Co. Eliminating hearing loss and hearing issues, such as auditory processing disorders, is critical to ensuring a child’s behavioural issues are correctly diagnosed. The Sound Scouts screening test will enable the clinical teams to assess hearing in a timely manner, ensuring the child is not delayed in receiving the support they need.”

Dr Anna Cohen, Clinical Child Psychologist at Kids & Co, runs an evidence-based practice that believes in exploring the reasons behind the challenges families are facing.

“Behavioural problems are rarely black and white, so we need to carefully explore all the reasons a child is experiencing challenges. For many of the children we assess, we now recommend they have a hearing test to rule out any physiological and auditory processing issues directly related to hearing so we can provide the correct intervention.

“Hearing affects how we understand the world and offers cues within situations that help us to regulate our behaviours. Children experiencing hearing loss or hearing issues are not receiving these important auditory cues, so they are more likely to exhibit behavioural problems than their peers. The Sound Scouts hearing screening will help assess if hearing loss or a hearing issue is a factor in the behaviours being assessed and if it is, it can be addressed within the treatment planning.”

An estimated one in 10 children start school with hearing loss, which can affect learning and socialising. If left undetected, hearing loss can have a far-reaching emotional impact causing feelings. Early intervention and detection is key, especially in school-aged children, and by partnering with Kids & Co, Sound Scouts is working to ensure no child is misdiagnosed or misunderstood.

“Hearing is critical to learning and communication outcomes. The sooner issues are detected, and treatment or management is provided, the better chance a child has in fulfilling their potential,” adds Dr Anna Cohen.

In children, almost 60 per cent of hearing loss is due to preventable causes. Unfortunately, there is no systematic universal screening for preschool and school-aged children in Australia. By working with Kids & Co, Sound Scouts is addressing an issue that the World of distress, frustration, anger, embarrassment, inferiority, shame, loss of identity, rejection, and loneliness Health Organisation believes needs to be actioned to help children reach their potential.

Over the past three years, Sound Scouts has been instrumental in reducing the prevalence of unaddressed hearing loss in school-aged children across Australia. Sound Scouts has been accessed in more than 2,300 schools, providing more than 135,000 tests to school-aged children across Australia.

“In working with Kids & Co we are also excited about the research opportunities that may shed further light on how the brain and hearing are linked,” adds Carolyn Mee. “The data from the Sound Scouts hearing screener has the potential to reveal further insights, beyond indicating hearing issues, that could assist in delivering better support to our children.”