Services for Children with Hearing Impairment

Children who have a hearing loss may also have problems with their speech and language skills. Hearing loss can range from mild to very severe, and can be temporary or permanent. Hearing loss is diagnosed by a hearing specialist (audiologist). Because of the risk of speech and language difficulties related to hearing loss, the speech-language pathologist (S-LP) is an essential part of the team that supports the family and child with a hearing loss.

What are the typical S-LP assessment procedures for a child with hearing loss?

Assessments are done by an S-LP at one of the 28 sites located across Nova Scotia. Assessments of very young children will be based on:

  • Checklists and rating scales given to parents
  • Play-based assessments between the S-LP and child

For an older child, the S-LP will combine information obtained from:

  • Parent and/or caregivers
  • Standardized tests
  • Informal checklists
  • Observations of the child 

The S-LP will ask about the history, nature and severity of the hearing impairment, the use of amplification, and what other professionals are working with the child and family.

Who can be referred?

Any child from early infancy (birth) up to the age at which they are eligible to start primary or the end of the month they turn 6 years of age, whichever occurs first can be referred for S-LP services.

Who can refer?

Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres has an open referral policy whereby parents/caregivers, teachers, doctors and related professionals with parental consent may refer a child for assessment. If your child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss, your audiologist may make the referral to speech-language pathology.

Click here to download the NSHSC referral form.

Who should be contacted with the referral?

Referrals and questions can be directed to your local NSHSC site.