There are a number of special tests that the paediatrician may arrange for a child with learning difficulties in certain circumstances. With the exception of tests of vision and hearing, none of these tests is mandatory; the doctor will only request them if something about the child’s problems makes them necessary.
Vision and hearing tests
The testing of vision and hearing is essential in every child with learning difficulties. Even though the child may seem to see and hear well in everyday circumstances, careful testing may detect minor defects of vision or hearing that could play an important role in impairing his learning. Although some paediatricians have the equipment to test a child’s vision and hearing, in most cases it will be necessary for the vision to be tested by an ophthalmologist, and the hearing to be tested by an audiologist.
The audiologist will test the hearing in a soundproof room. The child is fitted with headphones and tested with sounds of varying frequency and volume.
Referral to the ophthalmologist and audiologist can be arranged by the paediatrician, if this has not already been done by the family doctor.