Audiology

Why Consult With An Educational Audiologist?

The professional knowledge of an Educational Audiologist is crucial when meeting the hearing and listening needs of students. The technology for hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems is rapidly changing. Our Educational Audiologists develop collaborative systems with speech-language pathologists, teachers of individuals with hearing loss, and other related professionals to deliver quality services and meet the educational needs of students with various hearing deficits.

Services provided by AIS Educational Audiologists include:

  • Provide hearing evaluations within the school environment for identification of hearing loss in a timely manner.
  • Explain audiological assessment results to school personnel and make recommendations to enhance communication access and hearing.
  • Monitor the proper fit and functioning of the various hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored devices used by individual students to access auditory information.
  • Select, fit, verify and validate FM systems and/or sound field systems to be purchased and maintained by a school system
  • Provide training about hearing, hearing loss, and other auditory disorders for school personnel, students, and parents to facilitate a better understanding of the impact of auditory impairments on language, learning, literacy, and social development.
  • Identify appropriate instructional modifications and accommodations for a specific individual with hearing loss.
  • Collaborate with schools, parents, teachers, support personnel, and relevant community agencies and professionals to ensure delivery of appropriate services.
  • Measure classroom noise, evaluate acoustics, and make recommendations for improving classroom listening environment.
  • Assist in program placement decisions and make specific recommendations to address listening and communication needs.
  • Make appropriate medical, educational, and community referrals.
  • Coordinate hearing screening programs for preschool and school-aged students, ensuring professional standards are followed and screening personnel are appropriately trained.
    Manage the use and calibration of audiometric equipment.
  • Administer assessments to determine present level of auditory development and make appropriate educational recommendations.
  • Make appropriate recommendations for daily living assistive technology (iPods, telephone, TV, and alerting) for students with hearing and listening problems.
  • Collaborate with students, teachers, and parents to facilitate a greater understanding of the impact of noise exposure and hearing loss prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cochlear implant?

Cochlear implants (CI) are electronic devices surgically placed under the skin behind the ear and in the inner ear. The string of electrodes placed in the inner ear stimulates the auditory nerve so that a person with a significant permanent hearing loss can hear.

What's difference between a sound field system and a personal FM system?

For both systems, the teacher wears a microphone. In a Sound Field system, the speaker’s voice is projected through speakers in the room for everyone to hear. In a personal FM system, the speaker’s voice is delivered directly in to an individual’s hearing aid or cochlear implant and only that person can hear the information from the microphone.

Which is better, a Sound Field system or a personal FM system?

Studies indicate that students with hearing impairment have significantly better speech understanding when using a personal FM system rather than a sound field system.

I have a loud voice. Is it okay if I don’t use the microphone?

It is not effective to speak louder. Speaking louder increases the intensity of vowel sounds in speech, but not consonants. This makes speech discrimination more difficult.

Where do I get an FM system?

Good quality FM systems are available from several companies that also manufacture hearing aids. Consult an educational audiologist for a recommendation best suited to your child’s device and age.

At what age can my child’s hearing be tested?

Hearing can be assessed in infants the day that they are born. Your child is never too young for a hearing test. In the United States, infants are given a Newborn Hearing Screening to access hearing prior to leaving the hospital.

What should I do if I suspect that my child has a hearing loss?

Contact an audiology clinic for a hearing evaluation. (Ask if they regularly see children prior to making the appointment.) Some school districts offer hearing screenings and full hearing evaluations upon request.

Will my child receive special services at school?

Your child should be evaluated by school professionals such as the Speech – Language Pathologist, Psychologist and Educational Specialist to determine if he/she is eligible for services. If found eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed to meet the needs of your child.

Hearing aids are expensive and my insurance will not pay for them. What can I do?

Virginia has several resources available to assist with acquiring hearing aids at a cost that is affordable or in some cases at no charge. Your audiologist should have a list of resources available for assistance with obtaining hearing aids for children.

My child was not diagnosed with hearing loss until he was 4 years old. Will he be okay?

Will he be okay? Speech, language and auditory (listening) skills develop quickly between birth and 5 years of age. Your child will need to make up for 4 years of not hearing. He will need therapy services to work on skills in a concentrated effort. The most progress is seen when parents are involved in the therapy sessions and learn how to implement the strategies for accelerating listening, language and speech development throughout the day, every day. Notify your school system and have your child evaluated for intervention services as quickly as possible.