The earlier your child meets with an audiologist, the better. An audiologist can do tests to determine if your child’s hearing is in the typical range or not, provide options to help your child hear better, and monitor your child’s hearing. Each U.S. state and territory has an Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) program with the goal of screening all infants by 1 month of age, diagnosing hearing loss by 3 months of age, and connecting families with early intervention services by 6 months of age. Prompt access to audiologists who are specially trained and experienced in assessing infants and young children may be challenging, especially for families who live in rural/remote areas or with medically complex children. Teleaudiology through an internet connection can help overcome barriers and help your family connect with follow-up services sooner. The benefits of teleaudiology include:
“Make sure you write questions or concerns as they come to mind during the week. Communication is a bit less fluid when you use an online platform. Email them the day before your next session.”
“In times when face-to-face therapy sessions are not possible, we need to adapt and be open to new things all for the sake and progress of our children.”
“Tele-audiology services allow families to access quality pediatric audiology services while eliminating the barriers to getting timely care such as travel time and costs, the need to take additional time away from work, and finding childcare for siblings during the appointment.”
Your family may be hesitant to participate in teleaudiology or may need help getting the technology set up. Or, you may be thrilled to have an alternative to an appointment that is far away from your own home or community. Information about what to expect and how to prepare can make the experience more comfortable and productive.