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Have you ever questioned whether your baby could hear? Do loud noises startle your child? Does he or she seem to hear some sounds, but not others? If your little one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it may point to a hearing problem that our experts can help with.
Hearing loss signs and symptoms can vary for every child. If you suspect a problem, seek help so treatment can start early. We have a highly trained pediatric care network, including ENTs (otolaryngologists), audiologists and speech-language pathologists to help your child feel whole.
Pediatric Audiology and Auditory Verbal Therapy Services
At AdventHealth Sports Med & Rehab, our pediatric hearing loss program offers:
- Auditory processing evaluations
- Cochlear implant evaluations and mapping
- Communication outcomes consultations
- Comprehensive audiological evaluations
- Diagnostic auditory brain stem response testing
- Family parent support groups
- Hearing aid evaluations, fitting and follow-up
- Listening and spoken language (LSL) therapy
In addition to these services, Joshua Gottschall, MD, leads our monthly clinic in partnership with Children’s Ears Nose and Throat (CENTA). Our specialists work with families to help them develop a plan after their child fails a hearing evaluation.
Dr. Gottschall and certified auditory-verbal therapist, Erica Clark, share more below about AdventHealth’s partnership with CENTA and our multidisciplinary hearing loss clinic.
A Helpful Resource for Children and Families
“AdventHealth and CENTA share the same goal: to identify hearing loss in children early and get rehabilitation underway,” explains Dr. Gottschall. “Despite the implementation of Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, some children still fall through the cracks due to poor education about the need for early intervention, lack of guidance and in some cases, access to care. find that a multidisciplinary approach to this serious health care problem is best.”
For this reason, our specialists started holding a monthly multidisciplinary hearing loss clinic. One of the ways we improved the care process for patients was by establishing early follow-up with any patient who failed a newborn hearing screening from the hospital and education on the importance of early amplification and intervention,” says Clark.
For a child to be part of the hearing loss clinic, Dr. Gottschall explains, “Patients are referred after failing the newborn hearing screening program, as well as through their pediatrician and self-referral.” He adds, “Newborns are monitored to ensure that a timely referral is made, and proper follow-up is met. We provide counseling and additional audiologic testing is completed through AdventHealth Sports Med & Rehab prior to their appointment at the hearing loss clinic. This is important so that a care plan can be formulated, and they can begin treatment.”
Once a patient joins the clinic, our team of audiologists and pediatric ENT specialists collaborate with our AdventHealth Sports Med & Rehab audiologist, as well as our Auditory Verbal Speech-Language Pathologists. Each provider gives recommendations to the patient and his/her family and a care plan is initiated together. Current research shows that most deaf or hard of hearing children can learn to listen and speak when they’re fit early with appropriate hearing technology and connected to early intervention specialists who are trained to work on listening and spoken language outcomes.
This is a new generation for babies and children with hearing loss. Recent research and advances in technology make it possible for them to have positive listening and spoken language outcomes. We believe that every child with hearing loss should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential in a hearing world.
“We help our patients find solutions,” says Dr. Gottschall. “Cochlear implant technology is a safe and very effective option, especially for those who are identified and implanted early. It’s gratifying to see many of our patients develop fluent verbal communication and succeed in a mainstream school as a result.”
Who Benefits Most from the Pediatric Hearing Loss Clinic?
Clark explains that the program excels at supporting families of children with hearing loss navigate how to get early identification, diagnosis, amplification and early intervention services that meet the desired communication outcome goal.
“We have significantly increased the number of children identified with hearing loss by three months of age (a goal set by the EHDI: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act). We’ve successfully increased the number of hearing loss children receiving early intervention by six months old. We even strive to hit a ‘1-2-3’ approach. That means we’re identifying and diagnosing children by one month of age, fitting them with appropriate amplification by two months and getting them started with our early intervention services by three months. We understand how difficult this process can be for a family, which is why we try to offer a support system and community.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the hearing loss clinic, as well as services provided by AdventHealth Sports Med & Rehab, click here. You and your family deserve to feel whole.