Our first week of Mobile Mission training at Children’s Hospital 1 wraps up today. Sherri Vernelson and Erin Thompson have been working with a group of therapist who are rapidly demonstrating good skills to help children with hearing loss make use of their hearing technology and develop spoken language. These therapists have been enrolled in our program for three years. Each morning this week, little girls in their dresses and young boys in pressed pants would come in with their moms and/or dads to engage in therapy sessions. The Vietnamese led the sessions with the families while receiving feedback and coaching from Erin and Sherri. Time was also devoted to small group discussions about specific topics and strategies and
to developing plans to help the children continue to progress.
Meanwhile, Jane Madell helped the Vietnamese audiology technicians continue to develop skills in evaluating the hearing of young children through behavorial testing (VRA, play audiometry). Over 50 children were tested this week, providing ample opportunity for the Vietnamese to benefit from Jane’s expertise and coaching support.
At one point, it was discovered that a little girl was scheduled to come in for testing on her 3-year-old birthday. To make the day a brighter one for her, the whole group broke out into a rendition of Happy Birthday as she entered the sound booth. Big smiles all around!
Myriam de la Asuncion worked with audiology technicians on mapping techniques for children who have cochlear implants. Families must pay out of pocket for the cost of cochlear implants in Vietnam. However, growing numbers of children with profound hearing losses are getting them. It will be important to continue to develop the skills of these technicians who work with this segment of children into the future.
Jay Rubinstein worked alongside the Vietnamese doctors in the operating room to provide three children with cochlear implants. All went well and the families were very grateful. The local media captured the experience and produced a television segment about the work which can be viewed here. The before and after photos:
And now..its on to Hanoi!