Triad Hitchup

Saturday, May 3, 2008

triad HITCH-UP Meeting Highlights 4/29/08

GUEST SPEAKER: Erin Lucas and Terri Bercham, Beginnings
TOPIC: IEPs and advocating for your child in the school system.

Erin and Terri kindly represented Beginnings for what is becoming a crucial yearly conversation about IEPs meetings. They reminded us of several key points for successful meetings:
1. Bring someone with you. It may be a spouse, a friend, or a professional, but there is strength in numbers. Your companion can witness the discussion, and can be there to support you or even step in when needed. Beginnings parents educators are available and willing to join you at these meetings as your advocate!
2. Be sure everyone who is supposed to be at the meeting is, in fact, there.
3. Prior to the meeting be sure to:
a. Know your child’s hearing loss, including type, degree, hearing age, and performance of Ling sounds, etc
b. Know his/her assistive hearing device
c. Know where he/ she is on the Audiory Learning Guide
d. Know his/her expressive speech ability and articulation skills/ delays
e. Know where he is on the Bloom and Lahey guide of nl developmental sequence of expressive language
f. Know his procurers to reading an where he is.
4. You can call a meeting anytime. Due to the experiences of some members, we discussed the “appropriate time” allowed for this meeting to be called. No official rule was known, but they recommended to move up the chain of command if the meeting was not called within a reasonable time.
5. Show the school system that you are an effective advocate for your child. Make a notebook with all important information, including audiograms, previous IEPs, report cards and evaluations, etc, and bring it to all meetings so you are prepared (and they know it!). Keep a written copy of all calls, emails, and other transactions in the notebook as well so you have documentation if needed at any time.
6. Do not assume everyone at the meeting will know anything about hearing loss, how to read an audiogram, and what a given hearing loss means to your child. Bring a familiar sounds audiogram to help you explain.

Terri and Erin provided information regarding IEP meeting agendas, Hearing and Listening in a Typical Classroom, Extended School Year services, hearing impaired and deaf eligibility criteria, beginning preschool. They provided a worksheet for creating a “positive student profile” prior to the meeting so that you know going in what your child needs and what your goals are. They also included a copy of a blank IEP form as a guide of what is included.

The discussion turned to enforcing the IEPs and working with teachers. There were many good suggestions regarding this, including meeting with teachers prior to the school year along with your child, the audiogram, his/her amplification devices, and explaining the specifics of how the hearing loss affects your child in the classroom.

All of these resources and more can be made available. Just contact us or beginnings for assistance.

Parents/Others Present:

Leslie Wolfe
Marty and Leigh Reeves

Arthur & Tracy Tastet

Loretta and Matthew Slozer
Pam Bensimhon

Crystal Rierson
Charisse Whittum
Llanely Sanatuario-Vargus and husband (Sorry!)
Sandu Burnette
Ashley Synan Willett (speech therapist)
Rebecca Marks (speech therapist, Guilfrord Co)

Children Present:
**A big thank you to the UNCG Auditory-Oral Birth-K program students!!**
Collin and Hannah Tastet
Angeleah Reeves
McKenna, Joshua, Marissa, Shalynn and Jared Slozer
Audrey Whittum
Angel Vargus (and brother)
Zack Bensimhon

Thanks to Crystal Rierson for bringing refreshments for the parents and children.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, May 27, 2008. Topic TBA.

24th Annual Spring Camp Cheerio: A Weekend For Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, their families, and professionals May 16-18, 2008

AGBell Convention: Somethin' BIG is Brewing in Milwaukee, June 27-30, 2008

Pam Bensimhon & Crystal Rierson

Co-leaders, Triad HITCH-UP

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Triad HITCH-UP Meeting Highlights 2/26/08

GUEST SPEAKER: Joan and John Black, Tacsi Assistive Systems
TOPIC: Available Technology: getting the most out of modern technology for the hearing impaired.

Joan and John Black graciously joined us to discuss the technology. Joan wears a cochlear implant herself, and speaks from experience. They began by explaining that there are 4 goals or types of assistive technology, including those that:
1) Stretch the performance of hearing aids
2) Minimize background noise
3) Minimize the effects of distance
4) Override acoustics

Examples include:
1) Hardware (T-coil)
2) FM system
3) Infrared and induction loop

A T-coil is a small loop of wire inside (!!some!!) hearing aids which can act as a receiver to transmit clear sound despite background noise or feedback. If used with a hearing aid compatible (HAC) telephone, the phone can be easily used at the ear without feedback, with clear transmission of sound, when the hearing aid t-coil switch is on. The aids can also be switched to cut out backround noise while the coil is in use.

If there is insufficient phone volume, an in-line amplifier can be added to the phone. IN addition, the phone company can turn up the volume of things like voice announce caller-ID from their end. All phones can be increased in volume one way or another.

Another way to use the t-coil when volume is needed (not necessarily on the phone) is to use a neckloop or a sillouette. These create a magnetic field then plug into the phone, radio, etc, and transmit to the t-coil.

Of note, Bluetooth is not quite there but up-and-coming for assistance for the HI. Also, cell phones are about 50% HAC. IPod is not HAC thus far.

The Blacks then spoke about more hints regarding phone use, and then moved on to other sound issues in the home. They discussed the need for visual notification of everything: doorbell, phone ringing, fire alarms, etc. They recommended “sonicalert”, a light system which can flash differently depending on the source of the issue. Smoke detectors are particularly important.

The Blacks also wanted to be sure that we knew about several resources: internet relay conference captioning (free)
captel—captioned telephone service
NCTEDP—NC Telecommunications Equipment Dist. Program- assists in obtaining a hearing aid or telephone which is HAC.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: AGBell Convention: Somethin' BIG is Brewing in Milwaukee, June 27-30, 2008

Pam Bensimhon & Crystal Rierson

Co-leaders, Triad HITCH-UP

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Triad HITCH-UP Meeting Highlights 3/26/08


NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, April 29, 2008. Erin Lucas and Terri Burcham from Beginnings are coming to discuss IEPs and advocating for your child.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: AGBell Convention: Somethin' BIG is Brewing in Milwaukee, June 27-30, 2008

Pam Bensimhon & Crystal Rierson

Co-leaders, Triad HITCH-UP

Monday, February 18, 2008

Triad HITCH-UP Meeting Highlights 1/29/08

GUEST SPEAKER: Michele Neal, Office of Education Services, Resource Support Program
TOPIC: Literacy for Children with Hearing Loss: Nuts and Bolts

Michele joined us for a very interesting, informative discussion of literacy and language development. She began by discussing audiograms and knowing where your child stands. This includes knowing where they fall on the Auditory Learning Guide (Sound awareness, or phoneme, discourse, sentence, or word level). She then reviewed expressive language development over the infant and preschool years. She stressed that Auditory and Language Development are prescursory skills for reading. Michele then moved on to discuss reading.

Michele discussed the findings of the National Reading Panel, including 5 areas of focus required for successfully teaching children to read, numbered below.
1) Phonemic awareness
the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words
2) Phonics
phonic instruction helps children learn the relationships b/n letters and sounds, and leads to understanding of the systematic and predictable relationships b/n written and spoken lang (ie, when a vowel is followed by another, the first one says its name). Helps in word recognition, spelling and reading comprehension.
**Without phonemic awareness and phonics instruction, decoding of unfamiliar words is difficult, limiting vocab (must depend of sight words), fluency, and comprehension.**

3) Vocabulary
Refers to Oral, Aural and Print vocab.
** At the start of Kindergarten, the best predictor of reading achievement in grades 3 and up is ORAL vocab, (both receptive and expressive)
Studies of the effects of oral language weakness on reading growth were impressive, showing that a small difference in Kindergarten translates into a very significant difference later. A study evaluating the achievement gap strongly suggests that the gap between these groups expands seriously with time, and is difficult to overcome even with intervention later. This is due to several things, including:
To go from 8000 words known by the kindergartener to the 40,000 known (on average) at HS gradauation, children must learn 7 words a day (3000 per year from 3-12th grades)
IF kids can be brought to grade level in the 1st 3 yrs of school, they can generally stay at grade level thereafter.
less attention required for decoding, and better vocab base leads to more attention focused on comprehension
5) Text comprehension
the process of extracting or constructing meaning (building new meanings and integrating old info) from words once they have been identified
Know what your child can/can’t hear, their langage level, and their vocab level
Know of their reading program is explicit, systematic, and sequential
Advocate for additional services
Resources were also provided and can be made available (call or email if you want some!)

Parents/Others Present:

Leslie Wolfe

Marty and Leigh Reeves

Arthur & Tracy Tastet

Jenny Ball
Loretta and Matthew Slozer
Pam Bensimhon

Chris & Crystal Rierson
Mary Compton
Diane Doak
Ann McNally
UNCG Auditory-Oral Birth-12 program students (at meeting/ babysitting, below): Stephanie Butner, Erika Likens, Doug Price, Amber Lindgren, Wendy Baber, Lindsey Knopp

Children Present:
**A big thank you to the UNCG Auditory-Oral Birth-12 program students!!**
Collin and Hannah Tastet
Angeleah Reeves
McKenna Slozer and her 4 sibs

Thanks to Lesley Wolfe for bringing refreshments for the parents and children. Chris and Crystal Rierson are signed up to bring snacks for the Febuary meeting.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, February 26, 2008. John and Joan Black will be discussing available technology for the hearing impaired

ANNOUNCEMENTS: AGBell Convention: Somethin' BIG is Brewing in Milwaukee, June 27-30, 2008

Pam Bensimhon & Crystal Rierson

Co-leaders, Triad HITCH-UP

Thursday, January 10, 2008

BHI Study Suggests Children with Hearing Loss Not Being Adequately Served

BHI Study Suggests Children with Hearing Loss Not Being Adequately Served

Alexandria , VA — An estimated 1.4 million youth have hearing loss, but only 12% wear hearing devices, according to a national study released by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI).

Originally published in the September edition of The Hearing Review, the study shows that untreated hearing loss among young people leads to social, emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties. Three out of four parents indicated their child experienced "minor" to "serious" problems due to their hearing loss. The most serious problems experienced were:

Social skills (52%)
Grades in school and language development (50%)
Emotional health (42%)
Relationships with peers (38%)
Self-esteem (37%)
Relationships with family (36%)
The study was conducted among a national sample of the parents of 225 youth from infancy to age 21, all of whom were reported to have hearing loss by their parents. Hearing loss was detected in physicians' offices (51%), school (18%), and audiologists' offices (17%). Only 7% were identified in hospitals through newborn screening.

Parents expressed a number of reasons why they chose not to provide hearing devices for their children with hearing loss. The most frequent reasons included:

Parents' minimized, denied, or in some instances even neglected, their child's hearing loss.
Pediatricians, audiologists, family physicians or otolaryngologists sometimes provided conflicting advice or advice based on misinformation (eg, hearing aids were not needed for hearing loss in one ear or high frequency hearing loss could not be helped with hearing aids.)
Three in 10 (32%) parents expressed concern about how others might perceive their child if he/she wore hearing devices.
One out of five (22%) parents said they were unable to afford hearing devices.
"Children need to be able to hear, not just in the classroom, but also because hearing affects language competence, cognitive development, social and emotional well-being, and academic achievement," said Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., executive director of BHI. "Children who cannot hear well — that is, when their hearing loss is untreated or under-treated — could face a life of underperformance and broken dreams."

The scientific literature is clear that untreated hearing loss affects nearly all dimensions of the human experience. And the pediatric literature demonstrates that even children with "minimal" hearing loss are at risk academically compared to their normal hearing peers.

"Based on our findings, I am concerned that a sizeable population of young people in America is being left behind because they do not fit existing paradigms of hearing disability," says otolaryngologist Dr. William Luxford of the House Ear Clinic, a BHI Board member and co-author of the study. "We need a fundamental re-examination of the current hearing health policies and protocols influencing America 's children with hearing loss."

The authors of this study which also included Dr. Jerry Northern (Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine), Pam Mason (Director of Audiology professional practices at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) and Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe (Professor of Audiology at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine) concluded that specific issues that should be addressed include:

Do educators, medical doctors, and hearing healthcare professionals systematically overlook the needs of young people with minor or moderate degrees of hearing loss?
Is the prevalence of treatable hearing loss among children under-represented in the US when subjective methodology (e.g. parental awareness) is used to assess hearing loss? Objective research indicates that more than 10% of children may have early evidence of noise induced hearing loss.
Are pediatricians sufficiently trained on audiological diagnostic techniques and hearing device solutions to accurately measure hearing loss in children and to advise parents on appropriate treatment options?
Do parents have viable options of paying for hearing aids for their children if they cannot personally afford them?
Is there a way to mitigate the negative perception of hearing aids in the schoolroom?
How can we strengthen audiological advocacy to assure that infants failing newborn screenings receive timely follow-up for their hearing loss?
Source: BHI

Original Article

MarkeTrak VII: Are 1 Million Dependents with Hearing Loss in America Being Left Behind? by Sergei Kochkin, PhD; William Luxford, MD; Jerry L. Northern, PhD; Pam Mason, MEd; and Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD. September 2007 HR.

Related Articles

Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-Up: The Essential Next Step, by Michael A. Primus, PhD. January 2005 HR.

Parent Involvement: The Magic Ingredient in Successful Child Outcomes, by Karen Anderson, PhD. November 2002 HR.

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