I am Tracy James – an independent audiologist based in Newbury, Berkshire and I provide a hearing and amplification service for adults and children (as well as Pandas).
One of the key things that separates me out from other independents is that I also run a specialist paediatric audiology clinic – alongside my adult service. The paediatric clinic is based at the Mary Hare Secondary School site, near the M4 in Newbury.
Children of all ages come to see me, from 6 months of age for hearing assessment, and evaluate their hearing aid amplification (if necessary). Some people want a second opinion; others need to be seen sooner than can be offered by the NHS; for some children, a mild hearing loss has been missed or lost to follow up. What is key, is that reports can be sent for referral and review shortly after the appointment to various multidisciplinary professionals relevant to the child’s needs. Families are often happy that they can develop an awareness of their child’s needs sooner rather than later – and can move their child’s care into the right direction. One example of this could be when families are not sure if their child has a hearing loss or not? Should they see speech and language therapy or audiology? How could their school or nursery help? Do they have other developmental issues that need to be investigated?
Young adults and teenagers often come to see me for a review of their hearing aids when they want something more discreet, and perhaps aren’t able to get what they hope for on the NHS. There is often a lot of relief from the child and parent when hearing aids are worn again more consistently in school. Teenagers like to feel confident at school, and having the right hearing aids can help with this. Tracy can liaise with school services, or sensory education services to provide support to teachers or the child at school.
As for Pandas, well this Panda’s hearing is fine. My daughter just wanted to make sure he had his hearing checked too!