Think about all that goes into a rock concert — instruments, lights, a stage, equipment and musicians. But the concert will not be a success or may not even go on if you don’t have a great sound technician. The same holds true for a child with hearing loss. None of the professionals and family involved with the student will be able to do their jobs without the child having access to sound and appropriately programmed listening devices. The pediatric audiologist is the sound technician that can make those things happen.
It is your responsibility to make sure your student is hearing optimally when she is in the educational setting. Communication with the audiologist is a must for setting realistic social and educational goals and providing appropriate intervention. Contact the audiologist to learn about the child’s equipment, to learn about the use of an FM system in the classroom, to get an aided audiogram, and to ask questions about how the child is hearing. Remember you will need up-to-date releases in order to exchange information with the audiologist and the other team members. It’s best to do this right at the beginning of the year. Then introduce yourself in an email or in person to the audiologist to establish a working relationship. With the inside scoop on all things related to sound, the audiologist will be your new best friend taking you to the rock concert.
Jennifer Manley served as a classroom teacher for students ages 3 to 12 at CID – Central Institute for the Deaf. She currently works in professional development giving presentations on auditory development and is co-author of CID SPICE for Life, an auditory learning curriculum and author of the 2nd edition of CID SPICE.