Helping children hear better


Hearing well impacts every area of a child’s life—language and speech development, social skills, and future academic and personal success.

Yet little research has been conducted that focuses on infants and preschoolers with mild to severe hearing loss to determine what support or services will help them succeed.

A large-scale longitudinal study, the first-of-its-kind in the nation, followed children ranging in age from 6 months to 7 years old who experienced mild to severe hearing loss.

The Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL) study, conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, examined the impact of early identification and intervention on children with hearing loss.

The study’s findings were published online Oct. 27  in a monographic supplement to the November/December issue of the journal Ear and Hearing, published by the American Auditory Society.

Source: Iowa Now

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February Probes & Tips – Check a Child’s Hearing Aid


If you are not already, you may soon be serving a child with a hearing aid.  Unlike glasses that help a child see more clearly and need little daily attention beyond simple cleaning, hearing aids require more detailed attention and maintenance to ensure they are functioning as they should.   Young children will not be able to tell you when there is a problem, so it is up to parents, teachers, and other professionals to ensure that hearing aids are working well each day.

Common maintenance issues include checking and changing the battery, cleaning blockage from the earmold, and occasionally changing the tone hook.

If you are serving a child who wears hearing aids, you’ll want to watch an informative Hearing Aid Listening Check video that walks you through these and other troubleshooting steps.  You can also print a companion handout for reference purposes.  It may be especially helpful to view this video with parents, and discuss what can be done each day before the child leaves home, and what can be done at school to make sure that the child is getting the maximum access that the aids can provide to sound and language.

An audiologist can order a hearing aid care kit for you that includes:

  • A listening stethoscope, that attaches to the earmold or hearing aid tone hook, so you can listen to the amplified sound.
  • A battery tester.
  • A wire loop and brush to remove wax from the earmold.
  • An air blower to remove moisture from the earmold tubing.

Hearing aids are expensive investments, so treating them with care, and checking to make sure they are working as they should, is as important as ensuring that the child is wearing them every day.

Source: The Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Project

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via February Probes & Tips – Check a Child’s Hearing Aid.

ALL children CAN read…let us show you how!

Development of the “All Children Can Read” website began in 2006 as part of the work of the NCDB’s (National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness) Literacy Practice Partnership. This group envisioned the creation of a central location to provide information and resources to individual state deaf-blind projects, teachers, family members and related service providers interested in beginning or enhancing literacy instruction for children who have combined vision and hearing loss and children with other complex learning challenges. Following literature reviews of literacy learning for all children, children who are blind or visually impaired, children who are deaf or hearing impaired, children with multiple disabilities and children with deaf-blindness, a set of literacy indicators and corresponding strategies was developed to help guide instructional planning.

The “All Children Can Read” website is built on a framework that incorporates stages of literacy development and key components of reading into instructional strategies for children with dual sensory challenges. Content is organized around evidence-based strategies identified as being effective in building emergent literacy skills and moving children along a continuum toward independent reading. The website has been designed to present these strategies in a user-friendly, interactive manner that utilizes existing resources and provides practical examples.

Creating a technical assistance tool such as this requires huge commitment and effort. The individuals listed below have believed in its worth, given generously of their time and shared their knowledge, ideas, examples, technical expertise and thoughtful feedback. Through the inevitable twists and turns of bringing vision into reality they have continued their strong support of this project in order to make a difference in the lives of learners with combined vision and hearing loss.

Source: Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

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January Probes & Tips – Types of Hearing Loss


Have you ever wondered, what is a “conductive” hearing loss? What is a “temporary” or “fluctuating” loss? What is a “sensorineural” loss? What is a “permanent” loss? How do I know what kind of hearing loss a child has?

These are questions that Early Head Start staff find themselves asking as children they’ve identified through screening go on for audiological assessment. Having a working knowledge of the terms used by audiologists to describe different types of hearing loss will allow you communicate well with the audiologist and assist the family in understanding the appropriate intervention.

Source: The Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Project

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