Top 10 things you need before buying hearing aids

Have you finally decided it’s time to stop missing out on the important sounds of your life and take action to correct your hearing loss? That’s great! According to the Hearing Review, people with hearing loss wait an average of seven years to get help. That’s a lot of missed punch lines, important details in business meetings, sweet sentiments from a loved one, cheerful bird songs and laughter from grandkids.

Top 10 things you need before buying hearing aids:

  1. Hearing Test – The first thing you need is a thorough evaluation from a qualified hearing healthcare professional, like those listed our consumer-reviewed directory. The test is easy, painless and it may cost you nothing more than your time.
  2. Priority list – Your hearing healthcare professional will do far more than just test your hearing on your first visit. You will also have a discussion about your lifestyle. Is listening to your favorite TV shows a big priority for you or would you rank being able to understand co-workers better during happy hour at the nearby bar much higher? Maybe you wish to stream music wirelessly through your hearing aids at the gym or have easier one-on-one conversations at home. Whatever your priorities, communicate them clearly to your hearing care provider so they can more easily determine which products are right for you.
  3. Financial plan – Unfortunately, hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most third-party payers. While many people are working to change this, hearing aids remain a major out of pocket investment in your quality of life. Help is available through financing programs, Vocational Rehabilitation if you are still working, grants and charitable organizations. Do your homework so you can make a plan to pay for your hearing aids and stay within your budget. Your hearing care provider should give you several options that will work for your hearing and your wallet.
  4. Medical clearance – Previously, either a medical evaluation or a medical waiver was required before purchasing hearing aids. Beginning in December 2016, new FDA guidelines aimed at making it easier for consumers to buy hearing aids no longer mandate this. However, your hearing healthcare provider will refer you to a physician if they see any  “red flags” that indicate you need medical attention.
  5. Realistic expectations – Many hearing healthcare professionals think one of the most important factors in the success of their hearing aid patients is understanding that while today’s hearing aids are amazing in their technological capabilities, they still cannot reproduce natural hearing. In excessively noisy environments, even normal hearing people have difficulty hearing every word clearly, and you may also experience some challenges even with the best hearing aids.
  6. An open mind – If you have preconceived notions about your hearing loss or what hearing aids are right for you, be ready to have those ideas challenged. Hearing aids have come a long way, technologically speaking, over the past decades, and you may be surprised to find the vast array of features and attractive styles that are available now. Your hearing loss degree or type may mean only certain products will work for you. Trust the process and the advice of your hearing care professional.
  7. Motivation – Your hearing healthcare professional will go to great lengths to make sure you succeed with your new hearing aids, but you’ll get better results if you put some effort into the process. Being engaged, providing valuable feedback about your experiences and keeping your follow up appointments will help your provider make the right kinds of adjustments to your hearing aids so you get the most benefit.
  8. Positive attitude – As with most things in life, you will get the most from your hearing aids and your hearing healthcare provider if you stay positive. Having a good attitude and a sense of humor can help you get through most any challenge your hearing loss presents.
  9. Support system – Many new hearing aid wearers have been encouraged to take the leap by a family member or loved one who has become frustrated with longstanding hearing loss. Before you start the process, discuss your decision with family, friends and even co-workers. Advocating for yourself with them and asking for their support during your journey to better hearing will make you even more successful.
  10. The right hearing care professional – Buying hearing aids isn’t like buying a typical consumer good. These are highly sophisticated medical devices that require the expertise of a professional with experience in counseling and fitting. A good working relationship is key, so be sure you feel comfortable with your provider and have a good rapport. Look for an office that keeps hours that are convenient for you so you can make your follow-up appointments easily. You can find the right professional for your needs close to home using our extensive directory complete with consumer reviews.

top 10

Speech Sound Disorders

Does your child continue to say words or sounds incorrectly? Are they not “growing out of it?” It may be a good idea to have them evaluated by a professional.

Speech sound disorders are mistakes that children make in their articulation or pronunciation of words past a certain developmental age. There are two types of disorders: Articulation disorders – making sounds and Phonological processes – sound patterns. Speech sound disorders can be a result of developmental disorders (autism), genetic syndromes (Down syndrome), hearing loss, illness, or neurological disorders (cerebral palsy).

Articulation disorders include errors with sound substitutions (“b” for a “v”- “tibi”/“TV”), sound deletion (“-ouse”/”house”), or sound addition (“blooduh”/”blood”). Sounds in our language are developed at different ages and some sound errors are considered appropriate at different times; this is why it is important to seek out evaluation from our certified pediatric speech-language pathologist to understand typical development and to know where your child falls with their intelligibility.

Phonological processes are patterns of sound errors or sound rules that are learned inappropriately rather than learning the proper rules during development. Patterns include substituting the “k” and “g” for the “t” and “d” (“tup”/”cup”, “do”/”go”), or a reduction of two consonants in a word (“tar”/”star”, “lock”/”clock”). These processes decrease by certain ages as well.

These disorders are diagnosed through a formal evaluation with standardized tests performed by a certified speech and language pathologist. Articulation and Phonological disorders are treated with a child-centered speech therapy program individualized to the patient’s needs in order to “improve articulation of individual sounds and reduce errors in production of sound patterns.” Parents are encouraged to be an active participant in their child’s therapy session as well as in their home-practice activities.

Make an appointment to see our pediatric speech-language pathologist today if you have any concerns about your child’s pronunciation or ability to be understood by family and friends!

Source: (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.) Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonology. (Practice Portal). Retrieved October, 15, 2015, from www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Clinical-Topics/Articulation-and-Phonology.)

 

North Hills ENT and Anderson Audiology have several convenient locations for Speech Therapy!

North Hills ENT – 817-595-3700
4351 Booth Calloway Road, Ste. 308
North Richland Hills, TX  76180

North Hills ENT– 817-595-3700
647 S. Great Southwest Pkwy., Ste. 103
Grand Prairie, TX  75051

www.NorthHillsENT.com

Anderson Audiology – 817-282-8402
1550 Norwood Drive, Suite 100
Hurst, TX  76054

www.AndersonAudiologyDFW.com

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Late Talkers or Late Language Emergence

Late language emergence, or “late talkers,” is a delay in the development and onset of language skills where there are no additional disabilities, motor deficiencies, or cognitive delays diagnosed. These children typically present with either a “mixed receptive and expressive language delay” or just an “expressive language delay.” An expressive language delay is usually characterized by a limited vocabulary and slowed articulation or sentence structure development while a “mixed” language delay typically presents with difficulty comprehending and producing language. If these diagnoses go untreated by a certified speech-language pathologist in speech therapy, it can result in development of language and literacy delays as the child ages and progresses through school. Additionally, it can be a sign of underlying disorders including but not limited to: specific language impairment, social communication disorder, autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, etc.

Some signs and symptoms of a “late talker” include but are not limited to:

·         Child uses little to no words/word combinations  by age of 18 mos. to 2 years o   Points and grunts instead of labeling, commenting or requesting

o   Exhibits little to no 2-word sentences by 2 years old

·         Child demonstrates a limited vocabulary o   Children should exhibit a vocabulary between 5-20 words by 18 months, 150-300 words by 2 years, and 900-1000 words by 3 years
·         Child exhibits frustration/behavior difficulties when attempts at communication fail

 

o   Tantrums occur when he/she is not understood

o   Little to no attention to tasks and acting out from difficulty communicating

·         Not pointing to objects or pictures

 

o   Will not identify pictures of animals or objects when given a verbal prompt by 12 months
·         Not answering questions appropriately/repeating a question as the answer

 

o   “Do you want juice?”… “want juice?”

o   “What did you have for breakfast?”… “I eat”

o   “Where do you sleep?” … “Blanket”

·         Difficulty with following multi-step directions o   “Get the toy, and give it to me”

o   “Take off your shoes, put them away, then wash your hands”

·         Difficulty with understanding/using pronouns o   “I”, “me”, “you”, “my”, “mine”, “he”, “she”, “they”, “his”, “hers”, “him”, “her”
·         Difficulty with understanding/using simple prepositions o   “on”, “off”, “over”, “under”, “front”, “back”, “next to”
·         Difficulty with understanding/using verbs or action words o   “run”, “eat”, “jump”, “play”, “drink”, “sleep”, “wash”, etc.

 

If your child exhibits any of these “red flags”, please don’t hesitate to contact our Pediatric Speech Therapy Center to schedule a language evaluation today!

 

North Hills ENT and Anderson Audiology have several convenient locations for Speech Therapy!

North Hills ENT – 817-595-3700
4351 Booth Calloway Road, Ste. 308
North Richland Hills, TX  76180

North Hills ENT– 817-595-3700
647 S. Great Southwest Pkwy., Ste. 103
Grand Prairie, TX  75051

www.NorthHillsENT.com

Anderson Audiology – 817-282-8402
1550 Norwood Drive, Suite 100
Hurst, TX  76054

www.AndersonAudiologyDFW.com

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Home Practice for Speech Therapy

After each speech therapy session, your therapist will usually review the goals that were addressed as well as activities and strategies for you to try at home until the next therapy session. You might think, “I don’t have time for this!” or “I’m not the professional, what if I do it wrong?” When in reality, once you have been educated on the appropriate strategies and techniques specific to your child, YOU are one of their greatest assets to improving and generalizing their speech and language skills!

A typical speech therapy session lasts anywhere from 30 minutes/1 hour at a rate of 1-2 times a week. At the most, this is 2 whole hours a week of instruction from a professional who has the knowledge and experience to appropriately treat your child’s difficulty; at the least, it is 30 minutes a week! However, 2 hours a week is not a large amount of time in the grand scheme of the every day routine for your child. This also presents a difficulty in ensuring carryover as your child isn’t thinking about the techniques and strategies they have been taught except for in the therapy room. Here’s where you come in, parents! If therapy goals are targeted by you once a day for 5 minutes in the morning, and 5 minutes before bed, that is 70 extra minutes a week of practice they are exposed to; not to mention a consistent reminder of the areas they need to focus on throughout their day.

So, would you rather your child get 2 hours of practice a week, or over 3 hours a week in instruction?

Our pediatric speech therapist will typically discuss or send home paperwork detailing homework activities she wishes you to work on that are specific to your child. There are many ways to work with your child’s speech and language at home! Ask our pediatric speech therapist about ways to improve your child’s speech and language skills at home today.   817-595-3700

 

 

North Hills ENT and Anderson Audiology have several convenient locations for Speech Therapy!

North Hills ENT – 817-595-3700
4351 Booth Calloway Road, Ste. 308
North Richland Hills, TX  76180

North Hills ENT– 817-595-3700
647 S. Great Southwest Pkwy., Ste. 103
Grand Prairie, TX  75051

www.NorthHillsENT.com

Anderson Audiology – 817-282-8402
1550 Norwood Drive, Suite 100
Hurst, TX  76054

www.AndersonAudiologyDFW.com

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Auditory Verbal Therapy

Image courtesy of http://www.avuk.org/

Image courtesy of Auditory Verbal UK

According to the ASHA Leader Blog, “Auditory Verbal Therapy: Supporting Listening and Spoken Language in Young Children with Hearing Loss and Their Families,” 95% of parents of children with hearing loss are hearing (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2004), and many of these families wish to pursue a spoken language path for their children who exhibit hearing loss; rather than a modality that utilizes signs or gestures. This goal is attainable with early identification, appropriate amplification, and intervention approaches that focus on achieving typical development in listening, speech, language, cognition, and conversational competence. As technology for amplification improves and parents are presented with a myriad of options for their children’s communication modality, more families are electing to pursue this spoken language option through Auditory-Verbal therapy.

Auditory Verbal Therapy focuses on learning and developing language through listening the same way a child with typical hearing would do. The Alexander Graham Bell (AG Bell) Academy for Listening and Spoken Language (the governing body for Listening and Spoken Language Specialists) defines Auditory-Verbal therapy as follows:

Auditory-Verbal Therapy facilitates optimal acquisition of spoken language through listening by newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Auditory-Verbal Therapy promotes early diagnosis, one-on-one therapy, and state-of-the-art audiologic management and technology. Parents and caregivers actively participate in therapy. Through guidance, coaching, and demonstration, parents become the primary facilitators of their child’s spoken language development. Ultimately, parents and caregivers gain confidence that their child can have access to a full range of academic, social, and occupational choices. Auditory-Verbal Therapy must be conducted in adherence to the Principles LSLS of Auditory-Verbal Therapy.” (AG Bell Academy, 2012).

Auditory-Verbal therapy relies on ten principles to make up the basis of the intervention. These principles are outlined below:

  1. Promote early diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children, followed by immediate audiologic management and Auditory-Verbal Therapy;
  2. Recommend immediate assessment and use of appropriate, state-of-the-art hearing technology to obtain maximum benefits of auditory stimulation;
  3. Guide and coach parents to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing spoken language;
  4. Guide and coach parents to become the primary facilitators of their child’s listening and spoken language development through active consistent participation in individualized Auditory-Verbal Therapy;
  5. Guide and coach parents to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language throughout the child’s daily activities;
  6. Guide and coach parents to help their child integrate listening and spoken language into all aspects of the child’s life;
  7. Guide and coach parents to use natural developmental patterns of audition, speech, language, cognition, and communication;
  8. Guide and coach parents to help their child self-monitor spoken language through listening;
  9. Administer ongoing formal and informal diagnostic assessments to develop individualized Auditory-Verbal treatment plans, to monitor progress, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans for the child and family; and
  10. Promote education in regular school with peers who have typical hearing and with appropriate services from early childhood onwards.

4/23/2001 - - TAMPA - - CAPTION INFO: DIGITAL IMAGES: (2) Auditory / Verbal Therapist Tina LeVasseur (cq / 30 yrs.old / left) covers her mouth so Louie Alvarez (cq / 6 yrs.old / right) can't read her lips. They were playing a game to help Louie form sentences. **** The Oscar-nominated documentary "Sound and Fury" will be shown Thursday at Tampa Theater. It deals with the controversy in the deaf world over cochlear implants, medical devices that help deafpeople hear. Some in deaf community say this is bad, that it robs deaf people of their identity and treats deafness as something to 'fix'. Implant supporters think it's a medical miracle. Suzanne Alvarez is one of them. She brings her deaf daughter, Louie, 6, to the Bolesta Center for verbal therapy. Louie had the implant 4 yrs ago. She's doing well. - - Times Photo by: Ken Helle - - Story By: Jeanne Malmgren - - SCANNED BY: kh - - RUN DATE: 4/26/2001

Times Photo by Ken Helle

Auditory-Verbal Therapy prognosis typically depends on the age at identification, parent involvement, and if there are any additional disorders or diagnosis that the child exhibits. Therapy can range from 1 year, to several years working with a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) to improve your child’s communication skills. Therapy is non-invasive and a fun experience as it is rarely about drill and rather, utilizes every day routines, social play, as well as songs and nursery rhymes to improve your child’s ability to listen, and learn through listening.

Parents are expected to participate in this therapy path, as they are ultimately their child’s greatest asset in improving their communication skills. Your LSLS will work with you closely in therapy as well as outside of the therapy room to ensure your comfort with improving your child’s skills as well as your appropriate implementation of learned strategies and techniques in therapy. It truly is a team effort, with your LSLS as the coach, and you and your child as the players with the goal being for your child to be able to participate in and thrive in a typical home or classroom environment through listening.

If you are interested in pursuing Auditory-Verbal therapy for your child with hearing loss, please don’t hesitate to contact the North Hills ENT-Speech Therapy Center to schedule your evaluation with our Speech-Language Pathologist today!    817-595-3700

(Houston, T. (2012, March 29). Auditory-Verbal Therapy: Supporting Listening and Spoken Language in Young Children with Hearing Loss & Their Families. Retrieved October 20, 2015, from http://blog.asha.org/2012/03/29/auditory-verbal-therapy-supporting-listening-and-spoken-language-in-young-children-with-hearing-loss-their-families/ )

 

 

North Hills ENT and Anderson Audiology have several convenient locations for Speech Therapy!

North Hills ENT – 817-595-3700
4351 Booth Calloway Road, Ste. 308
North Richland Hills, TX  76180

North Hills ENT– 817-595-3700
647 S. Great Southwest Pkwy., Ste. 103
Grand Prairie, TX  75051

www.NorthHillsENT.com

Anderson Audiology – 817-282-8402
1550 Norwood Drive, Suite 100
Hurst, TX  76054

www.AndersonAudiologyDFW.com

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