Question

In general, what audiologic rehabilitation/habilitation services are done for children with hearing loss?

Answer

According to your Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management textbook, specific services for children are dependant on the needs dictated by the individual child, the child’s age, the type of hearing loss, the severity of the hearing loss, the extent of the loss, the age at which the hearing loss occurred, the age when the hearing loss was diagnosed, and how old the child was when amplification was introduced. The rehabilitation plan will also depend on how the child communicates.

Audiologic rehabilitation/habilitation services for children typically involve:

  • Training and auditory perception – this includes activities to increase awareness of sound, identify sounds, tell the difference between sounds (sound discrimination), and attach meaning to sounds. This also includes developing skills in hearing with hearing aids and assistive listening devices as well as how to handle easy and difficult listening situations.
  •  Using visual cues – this technique uses all kinds of visual cues that give meaning to a message such as facial expression, body language, and the context and environment in which the communication is taking place.
  • Improving speech – this involves skill development in production of speech sounds, voice quality, speaking rate, breath control, loudness, and speech rhythms.
  • Developing language – this involves developing language understanding (reception) and language usage (expression) according to developmental expectations.
  • Managing communication – this involves the child’s understanding of the hearing loss, developing assertiveness skills to use in different listening situations, handling communication breakdowns, and modifying situations to make communication easier.
  • Managing hearing aids and assistive listening devices – because children are fitted with hearing aids at such young ages, family members or caregivers generally do early care and adjustment. It is important however, that the family and/or caregiver allow the child to get involved in the care and management as much as possible. Eventually, the child should do all of the adjustments and management on his or her own. (p.197-198).

 

Higdon and Vaughan (2011), “The Role of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in Life Care Planning.” In S. Riddick- Grisham, Laura M. Deming (Eds.) Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management, Second Edition (p.189-274). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Higdon. (2004) “The Role of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in Life Care Planning.” In S. Riddick- Grisham (Ed.) Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management (p.197-198). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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