Testing children's hearing by traditional methods can be challenging. Pure tone audiometry is the standard test for children who are school ready. In this test the child listens to a range of beeps and whistles called ‘pure tones’ and indicates when they can hear them. Testing by this method is dependent on a skilled audiologist providing one-on-one interaction to make a diagnosis.
Sound Scouts can be used in the home, and tests for hearing loss and hearing issues. The game has been designed to detect conductive loss, sensorineural loss and central auditory processing disorder, which is said to affect about two percent of children. Once detected, CAPD may be treated or managed (depending on the type of CAPD). Refer to NAL for more information regarding CAPD.
The advantage of testing hearing using a game is that the child remains engaged throughout the testing process. Parents can oversee the test and receive an early indication of their child's hearing health.
The dialogue and key action words used in the game have been carefully selected to ensure they fit within the comprehension range of a five-year-old child.
Most importantly the test is fun and children don't even know they are being tested!