Referral Criteria for Children

Please refer children whom you consider might be borderline – we are always happy to discuss cases with you on the phone.

  • Children who have recently suffered from meningitis which has caused a sensorineural hearing loss should be referred urgently following diagnosis.
  • Children who have a bilateral severe hearing loss or worse, from 1 kHz to 8 kHz on ABR testing, or on an unaided test.
  • Children with limited aided speech information above 2 kHz (as seen on speech-mapping). Children with a severe reverse sloping hearing loss or worse, or those whose speech and language is not progressing adequately.
  • Children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder who are not progressing in their speech and language development.
  • Children older than three who are referred should have documented evidence of developing oral language.
  • Children over the age of four with no oral language will be considered and discussed only on a case-by-case basis.
  • A child older than five with no language is unlikely to benefit from a CI.
  • Children with additional needs will be accepted for assessment.

If you are in doubt about a possible referral please do refer them to the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme, or call us to discuss.

Bilateral Implant Funding and Asymmetric Hearing Loss

From 1 July 2014 the Ministry of Health increased cochlear implant funding to provide bilateral implants for children under 19 years of age newly referred for a cochlear implant. Prior to 1 July 2014 the Ministry of Health only funded 1 implant for this group.

For children with asymmetric hearing loss we provide guidelines for referrers here.

Download Paediatric Referral Form.