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Unilateral and mild hearing loss in children, are hearing aids necessary? ~ Kristy Knight, M.S. FAAA, CCC-A, Pediatric Audiologist

We tend to think that we hear with our ears, but we really hear with our brain – the ears are just a way for sound to get to the brain.  The problem with hearing loss, any amount of hearing loss, is that it interferes with sound reaching the brain.  In order for babies to develop speech and spoken language, they must be exposed to sound early and often.  Babies with normal hearing are able to hear all of the speech sounds clearly and easily, and since the ears are always “on” babies are listening 24 hours a day.  When a child has hearing loss, even when the hearing loss is mild or unilateral, some of the speech signal is reduced, distorted, or eliminated.

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Understanding How Well Your Child Hears with Hearing Aids ~ Pam Millett, PhD

It is a stressful journey through unfamiliar territory, from a child’s first hearing screening, through hearing tests, specialist appointments, and talks about amplification, to earmold impressions and anticipating getting those first hearing aids.  Hearing aid fitting day is a day everyone has waited for, usually with a mixture of nervousness, relief and sadness.  No matter the child’s age or hearing loss, all families have the same questions: “So how well can she hear now?”  “How does the audiologist know that these hearing aids are the right ones?”  “How do we know that we have done the best we can?” This article describes the three steps involved in finding the answers to these questions.

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Technology with Tots – exerpt from John Tracy Clinic

Young children with hearing loss learn language best through meaningful interactions with others. When they are involved and interested, their language can be strengthened. Young children are intrigued by cell phones, computers, remotes, tablets, GPS, calculators and other mobile technology. Parents can use their personal devices to encourage their child’s language learning. The key is to add personal interaction and enjoy using a device together. A child might hold a mobile device to assist with completing a shopping list, use invented spelling to add to a typed message or enjoy an animated storybook. Technology can be another tool for building a young child’s language experiences.

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Services in the Classroom part 2- Chanel Carlascio

Technology has made a big impact on the services available to people with hearing loss and the ability to adapt the environment for their communication needs. One assistive technology available is speech-to-text transcription. These services are becoming more and more popular, and are available in K12 settings, post-secondary institutions and in the workplace, being used by individuals who communicate through sign language or orally.


What is “speech-to-text” transcription?


In the simplest terms, speech-to-text transcription involves a professionally trained person typing what is said into a specialized software program on a laptop or stenography machine. The person reading the text will have a second small laptop computer wirelessly connected to the person doing the typing and will be able to follow interactions by reading the text as it appears on the screen, much like watching captions on TV.

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