Home Academia & Research Want to Know More About Serving Children With Hearing Loss? SIG 9 Can Help!

Want to Know More About Serving Children With Hearing Loss? SIG 9 Can Help!

by Kristina Blaiser
A little boy is sitting on an examining table in a doctors office smiling at the nurse as she places a hearing aid in the child's ear.

A major charge of ASHA Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, is providing its affiliates (both audiologists and speech-language pathologists) with up-to-date information and resources to help serve this population. The SIG 9 Coordinating Committee (on which I serve) wanted to find out what we need to share and how we can best share this information, so we recently surveyed ASHA members. This survey compared confidence levels, educational experiences and resources requested by SIG 9 affiliates with providers who aren’t part of our SIG. Working with the ASHA Research and Surveys team, all 695 SIG 9 members were surveyed, plus approximately 2,000 ASHA-certified audiologists and SLPs who indicated they serve children with hearing loss.

We learned that a significant number of non-SIG-9 affiliates serve children who are who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH), for example, but many lack confidence about treatment approaches. Most SIG 9 affiliates look beyond their graduate training to receive extra support and/or mentoring for serving this population, while professionals who are not SIG 9 affiliates indicated they often don’t seek continuing education or other forms of outside support.


Both groups—SIG 9 affiliates and those who aren’t—want more information on serving children who use American Sign Language (ASL) and listening and spoken language (LSL). For resources and information related to ASL, professionals can find more information at the National Association for the Deaf, American Society for Deaf Children and Gallaudet University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. For resources supporting children who use LSL, professionals can find more information about mentoring at AG Bell, Hearing First, Hear to Learn and Success for Kids with Hearing Loss.

Interestingly, both groups of professionals responding to the survey also wanted more information on aural rehabilitation techniques and hearing activities. The ASHA Practice Portal also provides evidence-based information on a number of topics including newborn and childhood hearing screening, and permanent childhood hearing loss. Upcoming topics will include central auditory processing and cochlear implants for children.

Coordinating Committee members will also use responses to help us select topics for Perspectives articles, invite speakers to ASHA conventions and collaborate with other SIGs. We also hope to engage a broader audience of providers serving children with hearing loss. We chose three topics—cochlear implants, educational audiology and central auditory processing disorders—as topics for focused discussion on our online community. Look for future blogs highlighting these discussions, in addition to an upcoming web chat about hearing loss and autism in early September.

Kristina Blaiser, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Idaho State University. She’s also the professional development manager for ASHA Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood. Kristina.Blaiser@isu.edu.

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Jane H. Harrison August 17, 2017 - 8:35 pm

I am recently really in need of more information in this area as a speech pathologist and
a person with Tinnitus. The upcoming technology is fascinating in this area. I am also
interested in adults with hearing impairment.What medium is the Sig 9 delivered in? I
don’t want to sit at a computer all the time.We do too much of that already.

Donna Smiley (@educationalaud) August 23, 2017 - 9:52 pm

Hi Jane! As another member of the SIG 9 coordinating committee, I thought I would chime in here (and maybe Kristi will too). Each of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in ASHA have an online community where members can conduct discussions and share information. In addition, each SIG has an online journal (Perspectives) that contain information that is typically more focused on clinical application. Those are “computer” based resources – but can be interactive too (the communities especially). At the ASHA convention each year, each SIG sponsors a short course and members of that SIG get a discounted registration for the course. Last, SIG 9 will be having an online chat that we are sponsoring with other SIGs in September regarding working with children who have hearing loss in addition to autism. I will post that info in a separate reply after this one. I know alot of that information is delivered via computer, but being a member of SIG 9 is a great way to get to interact (virtually) with other audiologists and SLPs who have interest in working with children who have hearing loss.

Donna Smiley (@educationalaud) August 23, 2017 - 9:54 pm

September 7, 2017

8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. ET

Sponsored by SIG 1, SIG 9, and SIG 16

This live online chat will focus on strategies to work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing who also have a diagnosis of autism. Discussion leaders from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Miami University will be online to help members explore important issues related to differential diagnosis, assessment, and intervention as well as the role of interprofessional collaboration in serving this population. The following panelists will be available to answer questions:

Paula Barson, MA, CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Jenna-Leah Duffield, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, Speech-Language Pathologist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Melissa Ferrello, AuD, CCC-A, Audiologist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Aaron Shield, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Miami University

This free event is open to all ASHA members (it is not offered for CEUs).

Signup for a reminder at the following link!


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