april 12

sound prActice in action

April 12
  • Speaker Series
  • April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

Growing A Listening and Social Brain

Session 1: What Clinicians Need to Know About Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery and How It Shapes Aural Rehabilitation

Kristin Uhler, Ph.D.

Assessment of patient outcomes and documentation of treatment efficacy is an essential component of (re)habilitative audiology. With the development and implementation of the Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery (PMSTB) (Uhler et al., 2017), there is now a standardized protocol for speech perception assessment in very young children with hearing loss. The fills this gap, allowing tracking of performance of children using various hearing technologies to afford comparison within-subjects, between-subjects, and across facilities. Implementation of the PMSTB will facilitate continuity of care and clinical decision-making. The session will conclude with practical tips and tricks for clinicians, along with case studies.  

Upon completion, each participant will be able to:

1.  Describe the Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery, from parent report to sentence perception in noise.

2. Explain the rationale for transition to the next assessment or listening condition in the Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery hierarchical protocol.

3.  Discuss reasonable steps toward implementation of the Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery in their clinical setting.


Session 2: Early Vocabulary Acquisition In Children With Hearing Loss

Andrea Warner-Czyz, Ph.D.

Children with hearing loss acquire vocabulary quantitatively and qualitatively different than children with typical hearing. Moreover, wide variability exists in the language abilities of children with hearing loss. Several factors - younger age at device fitting, longer duration of daily device use, higher quality of device fitting coincide with better language outcomes in children with hearing loss. However, these factors account for only about half of the variance in language skills in children with hearing loss, underlying the need for novel explorations of variables and outcomes in this population. 

This session will cover new research on variables that affect vocabulary size and composition in contemporary groups of children with hearing loss using hearing aids and/or cochlear implants. For example, speech discrimination affords a way to track the audiologic progression from speech awareness to recognition, but also predicts word and language learning. Temperament also affects language development, with certain personality traits (e.g., the desire to interact with other people) corresponding to larger lexicons in children with hearing loss. Exploring the influence of traditional and novel factors on language acquisition will help speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and parents set realistic expectations for children who with hearing loss using auditory technology.

Upon completion, each participant will be able to:

1.    Describe the effect of early speech perception skills on early language development in children with hearing loss.

2.    Explain the link between child and family factors and early language development in children with hearing loss. 

3.    Incorporate novel factors into language assessments to individualize therapy goals and set realistic expectations for children with hearing loss.


Session 3: Inspiration Session

A parent and graduate of an Auditory-Verbal Therapy Program will share their personal experiences of their journey from diagnosis of hearing loss to where they are today. To compliment the theme of the program, both parent and child will describe which tools they found most helpful to encourage positive self concept and confidence, and greater ease of social communication.

Upon completion, each participant will be able to:

  1. Identify challenges parents and children face in gaining access to conversations within social situations across the lifespan. 
  2. Describe those tools that were effective and which were not; in helping deal with challenging social situations.
  3. Discuss those strategies that were used to encourage positive self concept.


Session 4: Research, Tips, Strategies For Listening and Social Skills Development 

Andrea Warner-Czyz, Ph.D.

Children and adolescents with hearing loss can attain remarkable communication benefits with the use of auditory technology (e.g., hearing aids and/or cochlear implants). However, the presence of adequate speech production, language, and speech perception skills does not guarantee high ratings of quality of life. Several studies document lower levels of quality of life in children and adolescents with hearing loss. These children exhibit higher levels of fatigue and depression, and experience higher frequency of peer problems such as peer victimization (especially social exclusion) compared to hearing age-mates. Social well-being in children and adolescents with hearing loss demands attention because unresolved difficulties interacting with peers increase the risk of immediate and lasting harm to mental, psychological, and physical health. 

This session will discuss recent research on social well-being in children and adolescents with hearing loss using auditory technology, specifically focusing on peer relationships (e.g., loneliness, friendship, peer victimization). Moreover, this talk suggests ways for clinicians, parents, and children and adolescents with hearing loss themselves to address social well-being. Collaborative efforts can support minimization of peer problems to maximize social well-being and quality of life in children and adolescents with hearing loss.

Upon completion, each participant will be able to:

1.    Recognize similarities and differences in quality of life, particularly peer relationships, by auditory status.

2.    Describe patterns of friendship and peer victimization in adolescents with hearing loss versus hearing peers.

3.    Evaluate the need for additional services or support for adolescents with hearing loss who experience peer problems.


Session #5: Speech Perception Over Time 

Kristin Uhler, Ph.D.

Following fitting of hearing aids, there is a period of time from early infancy until a child is old enough to complete a conditioned head turn task when it is unknown if discrimination of speech sounds is possible. The presentation will focus on the development of an objective, non-invasive index (evoked potential) of infant speech perception to be employed shortly after hearing aid fitting and its potential impact for shaping habilitation strategies. Normative data will be presented along with a cohort of infants with hearing loss across the trajectory of the project. We will discuss theoretical approaches, relationships between evoked potentials and behaviour, and progress toward an automatic response detection algorithm. 

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

1.    Demonstrate understanding of novel approaches to the analysis and interpretation of EEG for translational and clinical applications.

2.    Learn the relationship between evoked potentials and behavioural measures of infant speech discrimination.

3.    Describe potential uses of electrophysiological and behavioural measures as tools for predicting language outcomes in children with hearing loss. 


Session #6: Putting It All Together: Squeezing the Possible Out of Impossible Situations

Karen MacIver-Lux, LSLS. Cert. AVT

Aural Rehabilitation practitioners, teachers, audiologists, parent(s) must work together to develop an individualized plan of action to help a child achieve the best access to the rich social language and positive life opportunities that occur daily; even when it appears that barriers only exist. Each child and family is unique; no set of strategies will work best for all. This presentation will explore factors that the clinician and teacher brings to the “table” in helping encourage positive self concept in children and to provide the positive support that a family need. Several case studies will be presented to illustrate the need for individualized plans that can be developed in conjunction with parents so that children have the best opportunities to be the best that they can be.

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate ability to recognize factors that need to be identified that will shape a child and family’s plan to reach/maintain positive self concept and view of challenges that lay ahead.
  2. Strategies that can be used to help the child (and family) identify positive solutions out of difficult situations.
  3. Identify supports available to children across the lifespan starting from infancy and on.






Click here to register for the April 27th, 2018