Educational audiologist: an important resource for your child with hearing loss
And just like that, summertime is almost over. As you prepare for the annual back-to-school frenzy, your days are likely filled with a rush of activities designed to set your child up for a successful school year. If your child has hearing loss, make sure your back-to-school list includes securing the services of an educational audiologist.
What is an educational audiologist?
An educational audiologist (EdAud) is a hearing healthcare professional who works with children with hearing loss to make sure they receive maximum support in the classroom. This may include making recommendations for acoustic modifications in the classroom, fitting hearing assistive technology and counseling parents and teachers about your child’s hearing loss.
In many school systems, an educational audiologist is part of the team which develops Individualized Education Program (IEP). Once the plan is in place, the EdAud can fit hearing assistive technology (HAT) to each child requiring it and make sure each child is able to access the curriculum.
How to advocate for your child
Because educational audiology is a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), your child is entitled to have access to an EdAud. In a July 2017 article for Wrightslaw, Educational Audiologist Kym Meyer provides these suggestions for securing this important resource for your child:
Once an EdAud has been identified for your child, touch base with them on a regular basis. Keep them informed of any physical or social developments and ask questions about your child’s progress. The more the EdAud knows about your child and his hearing loss, the better equipped she will be to customize the services your child needs in order to be successful in the classroom.
Finally, don’t wait for school-administered hearing tests to tell you how well your children are hearing. Hearing loss affects speech and language development and can also negatively impact school performance if not detected quickly. Before school begins, have each of your children's hearing evaluated by a qualified hearing healthcare professional. If you don’t have a hearing healthcare professional you trust, search our directory for one in your community.