SLP Coffee Talk- Help Our Students Hear with Madison Levine
This month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Hallie Sherman on SLP Coffee Talk for a podcast. In this podcast we got to talking about hearing services for the students and how we can take an active role in helping students to make the most of their hearing aids. As a Hearing Instrument Specialist, I came to the conversation with a technology focus which could be beneficial for Speech Language Pathologists.
About me: After studying Food Science, at the University of Georgia, my career took a sharp left when I decided to follow in my mother’s footsteps. She had a hearing aid clinic down in Macon, Georgia my entire life, and I founded my audiology practice, Levine Hearing in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015. I love making my patients feel valued and it excites me when I see them being a part of conversations that they were missing before getting hearing aids.
I know that many students are reluctant to use hearing aids because they can make things sound unfamiliar in a way that students are not used to and it can take some adjusting. Sometimes they avoid wearing their hearing aids or keep them on for the shortest amount of time that they can.
The key to working with students like this is trust. Building a rapport is the best way to get through to them when they are struggling to come around to their hearing aids. By building a good and friendly relationship, we can help them understand why their hearing aids are important.
I have shared my views on the questions asked by my friend Hallie Sherman during our conversation and hope that you all will find this helpful and that you’re able to take this as a sign to go ahead and learn what you can about hearing instruments and make them a priority for your students that need them.
What advice would you give to students who are reluctant to wear their hearing aids?
I would advise that students must be encouraged to wear hearing aids. Taking breaks is fine but ultimately, it’s going to have so much impact on them cognitively as they develop. Using hearing aids keeps the brain practicing hearing. I have seen a lot of patients who were 18, 19, or 20 and gave up on wearing hearing aids when they were in elementary or high school, when they probably put up a big fight. I am pretty sure that everyone around them would have told them to wear their hearing aids but as a kid, it’s hard to feel different. Now they are struggling when going into college or into the workforce. Often times they are coming to me, ready to pursue hearing aids again and I love getting to help them but I have to be honest, that they have a harder adjustment and can have less than optimal results because they took so many years off from stimulating that auditory nerve.
How long should you wear hearing aids in a day?
To receive maximum benefit from hearing aids, I’d recommend that you wear them every day for at least 8 hours. Consistency plays an important role in hearing. The more consistently that you wear your hearing aids, the quicker your ears and your brain will adjust to your new way of hearing and the less jarring it will be. It is always recommended to visit a hearing instrument specialist or audiologist before putting on any hearing device. I think hearing instrument specialists, SLPs, and audiologists all share different roles in the same patient’s journey.
What are the gold standards anytime someone’s hearing is tested?
There is a gold standard battery of tests which includes, tone perception, speech discrimination, and speech in noise testing. The simple test that consists of listening for beeps and pushing a button is useful, but it only gives us such a narrow view of how they’re hearing and how they’re functioning in the world.
What kind of advice can you give to counseling students and counseling parents?
If we want people to be successful, we need to just give them the keys to the castle. Be honest, and tell them truly what’s going to be hard and what the outcome is going to be. Just educate them.
Where can everyone learn more about you and everything you have to offer?
My Instagram holds most of it. You can find it on Instagram as @Madiso listens and you can also find my Charlotte audiology clinic at Levinehearing.com where you can find more information about hearing aids and other hearing-related queries.
Click on the link to listen to the podcast to learn more about how you can embrace learning about hearing instruments and help your students in the best way possible.