Dr. Shirley has years of experience treating a wide range of highly complex pediatric ENT conditions that have been referred to him form all corners of the state of Alabama, as well as from all surrounding states.  He has successfully treated patients with entirely stenotic and nonfunctioning airways; patients with aggressive and deforming sinus disease; highly complex chronic ear disease - from congenital cholesteatomas, aggressive acquired cholesteatomas, complete ear drum loss, to complex ossicular reconstructions; unusual neck masses and cervical infections; congenital head and neck lesions and deformities; vascular anomalies; and children’s speech disorders due to anatomic abnormalities of the soft palate.  Dr. Shirley also has vast experience in more routine pediatric ENT problems and has performed well over three thousand tonsillectomies and many thousands of tympanostomy tube placements.  His knowledge in dealing with the more complex aspects of pediatric ENT care as well as the experience in having taken care of many referred complications of surgery and treatment, has given Dr. Shirley a unique experience, perspective, and knowledge base to provide expert care for a wide range of complex and straightforward surgical cases.  Dr. Shirley and his staff will directly collaborate with your child's primary care physician as well as any other providers that are involved in your child's medical care to help facilitate optimum integration and continuity of care.

Dr. Beth Norris, Aud.  our nationally certified and state licensed pediatric Audiologist is committed to providing quality services to children from all ages, from infants to young adults.  Using the latest diagnostic tools to evaluate hearing in infants and children, Dr. Norris has extensive experience and is specially trained to evaluate hearing in difficult to test children or patients who may have other disabilities.


You can learn more about the services offered by reading through this section of our website.

Audiology Services Include:

  • Newborn Infant Hearing Screening
  • Behavioral and Play Audiometry
  • Conventional Audiometry Testing
  • Impedence Testing (Tympanometry & Acoustic Reflex Testing)
  • Otoacoustic Emissions Testing (OAEs)
  • Auditory Evoked Potential Testing (AEP/ABR)







Ear Infection

The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain. Read More »


Hearing loss has a lot of different causes and manifestations. It can be sudden or gradual. It can occur in one ear or both ears. It can be temporary or permanent. It happens to people of all ages and is associated with the aging process. Before discussing causes and treatments for hearing loss, it is important to understand how hearing works. Read More »


Almost all cases of chronic hoarseness in a child are due to the presence of vocal cord nodules.   Vocal cord nodules can be thought of as small bumps on the anterior portion of the vocal cords that keep the entire surface of the vocal cords from having contact and the correct vibrational pattern.  The nodules are areas of thickening of the of the vocal cord that normally result from overuse injury.  Read More »

Pediatric Neck Masses

Fortunately most lumps and bumps found in the pediatric neck exam are benign in origin.  However, a full evaluation is recommended by a physician experienced in diagnosing and treating pediatric neck masses.  Dr. Shirley has seen, diagnosed, and surgically treated when necessary a vast array of different pediatric neck anomalies.  This experience is important in deciding what is the correct intervention necessary to diagnose and treat the abnormality. Read More »

Speech abnormalities, Velopharyngeal Incompetence (VPI)

Dr. Shirley has many years of experience in treating children with speech abnormalities.  Most speech abnormalities are functional problems of enunciation that can be corrected with correct therapy with a good speech pathologist.  Most enunciation errors are not due to an anatomic problem that needs correction.  However, if it is determined that your child is potentially having signs of hypernasality then an evaluation by an ENT with experience in diagnosing and treating this disorder is warranted.  Read More »


As mentioned before tonsillar enlargement is easy to diagnose.  However, the decision on whether or not surgery will be beneficial is more complex.  Just because your child’s tonsils are enlarged does not mean that surgery is necessary to remove them.  It is normal for the tonsils to have significant growth between the ages of 3-6 and sometimes even before or beyond these ages.  However, most children will not ultimately need their tonsils taken out.   In the present day by far the most common reason to perform an adenotonsillectomy (T/A) is to relieve upper airway obstruction. Read More »


The adenoids grow from the roof of the nasopharynx, which is the space behind the nasal cavity and above the soft palate.  When the adenoids enlarge the nose may become completely obstructed resulting in mouth breathing, snoring, drooling, and oftentimes difficulty eating, as with the nose obstructed it can become difficult to eat and breathe at the same time.  The nasal obstruction often leads to chronic rhinorrhea and sinus infections as well. Read More »

Tonsil and Adenoid disease

Dr. Shirley has a vast experience in treating children’s tonsil and adenoid disease.  At ENT for Kids Alabama we will thoroughly evaluate your child’s history and physical exam and determine whether it will be beneficial to your child to proceed with surgical intervention or whether watchful waiting and/or medical intervention would be preferred.  Read More »

Sinus Disease

Dr. Shirley is an expert at the diagnosis and management of pediatric sinus disorders.  In congruence with his overall philosophy Dr. Shirley will always try to treat your child in the most conservative manner that is possible to help your child have significant improvement in his health.  The vast majority of children’s persistent sinus disease can be relieved by optimizing their medical management, and that only a small number of children ultimately will need sinus surgery.  Read More »

Flexible Laryngoscopy

A flexible laryngoscopy is a very small 2.7mm flexible tube with a camera on the end.  This tool provides an excellent view of the larynx (or voice box).  When this test is performed the image will be seen by the family on the monitors as well, and Dr. Shirley will go over all normal and abnormal images seen.  This exam may be indicated to evaluate, diagnose, and/or rule out significant anatomic or dynamic problems.  This exam can cause some anxiety to the parent and child but is very easily and quickly performed.  As the scope passes through the nose it can cause some mild discomfort and pressure but normally it is only the nature of a strange procedure that causes any fear or anxiety. Read More »

Airway Abnormalities

Dr. Shirley has experience in treating complex airway abnormalities, whether congenital or acquired.  He has given lectures around the state regarding the management of the pediatric airway.  The most common reason for obstruction in infants is laryngomalacia, and Dr. Shirley has a very large experience in evaluating this relatively common diagnosis.  Most of these children can be managed without surgical intervention. Read More »

Chronic Otitis Media and Myringotomy Tubes

The most common surgical procedure in children is the placement of myringotomy tubes.  The surgical procedure is brief (approximately 5 minutes), is done under a brief gas-only anesthesia, results in no significant post-op pain or recovery (oftentimes the relief of pressure and infection results in immediate noticeable change in behavior and demeanor of the child), and the child can return to school or daycare the next day if necessary.  Read More »

Chronic Ear Disease and Cholesteatomas

Dr. Shirley is highly experienced in the care of the chronically diseased ear.  A Cholesteatoma is a condition where skin (squamous tissue) becomes trapped in the middle ear and mastoid bone behind the ear.  This usually arises in children with a long history of ear disease and eustachian tube dysfunction.  Chronic high negative pressure in the middle ear results in retraction of the skin on the tympanic membrane which then can become trapped around the ear bones and within the many very small crevices and spaces within the middle ear and mastoid.   Read More »

Tympanic Membrane Perforations

Sometimes as a result of chronic ear infections, chronic pressure and eustachian tube dysfunction a child may end up with a loss of a portion of the tympanic membrane.  In such a case it is important to do a full exam and assessment and determine what effect the perforation is having on the child and whether or not the child is ready for closure of the tympanic membrane. Read More »

Providing Pediatric ENT services for children ages 0-21 to the greater Birmingham area and all of Alabama.