The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss completed its fourth training workshop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Mongolian ENT doctors, teachers, and therapists from the city’s hospitals, schools, and therapy centers joined the session to continue their professional development in topics related to pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice.
Two audiology doctors and two auditory-verbal therapists from the United States lent their time and expertise to teaching the Global Foundation’s curriculum to the participants and to lead practical sessions with patients.
The Global Foundation promotes collaboration between audiology and therapy professionals in serving a family of a child with hearing loss. To demonstrate how beneficial teaming can be, we had some children come through the audiology practicum for hearing testing, cochlear implant mapping, and/or hearing aid adjustments. The goal is to make sure the children are hearing as optimally as possible. Then, these children went on to engage in our auditory-verbal therapy practicum with their parents. The focus was on setting developmental goals and employing strategies to help the child use their hearing technology to develop audition and spoken language skills over time. We discussed each of these cases as a whole group so that each discipline could get the other’s perspective on the child’s situation and progress.
We also hosted a Family Night to provide about 25 families with information and guidance about their children’s hearing loss and the strategies they could use at home to help their children develop their listening and speaking skills. A highlight was meeting a mother of a 5 month old baby who was identified with hearing loss at birth through the newborn hearing screening program that the Global Foundation initiated at all birthing hospitals in the capital with our Mongolian partners. At the end of the Family Night, she rose to express her appreciation for the screening program which enabled her son to receive timely interventions for his hearing loss. We were all so touched to see the immediate impact of our efforts on this family.
We had a chance to meet her baby boy a few days later when he came to the audiology practicum. He is doing great with his hearing aids and with the early intervention therapy support, he is well on his way to developing as a typically hearing child.