These past two weeks, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has been busy with its Mobile Mission program, providing training to professionals and direct service to a host of young children with hearing loss and their families.
We started at Children’s Hospital 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Erin Thompson and Sandra Hancock, both Auditory Verbal Therapists continued training in auditory verbal practice to a host of advanced therapists and other practitioners enrolled in our program. These Vietnamese professionals work at Children’s Hospital 1 and other area hospitals and therapy centers in Ho Chi Minh City.
The curriculum focused on cultivating speech development in young children with hearing loss. The participants learned how to identify development goals, develop strategies, and implement activities that would achieve specific speech development goals. Children with hearing loss were brought in for practical experience during which the Vietnamese therapists conducted therapy sessions with the children and their parents while the Global Foundation professionals mentored the Vietnamese therapists.
Meanwhile, Audiologists Pat Roush and Sarah Florence worked with Vietnamese ENT doctors and technicians from a host of hospitals around Vietnam. Topics covered included testing procedures, diagnosis, hearing aid fitting and verification, and newborn hearing screening protocols.
There is a movement by select hospitals to establish newborn hearing screening as a part of their standard of care and so much time with the ENT doctors was focused on discussion forums related to this topic. Children with hearing loss were scheduled appointments with the audiology technicians for hearing tests and fitting of hearing aids with the mentorship of the Global Foundation professionals.
A Parent Night was held at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City which drew about 80 families from around the city.
We then moved on to Thuan An Center in Binh Duong Province. The same training curriculum as what was carried out at Children’s Hospital 1 was implemented at Thuan An Center but with a different group of teachers and therapists. These teachers and therapists represent schools and early intervention centers in the South. They followed the same curriculum with a focus on learning about speech development. Children were brought in for practical sessions with the participants for mentorship by the Global Foundation professionals.
The Vietnamese audiology participants at Thuan An Center came from schools, private practice, and clinics in the provinces surrounding Ho Chi Minh City. Dawn Ruley and Stac Claycomb joined Pat Roush and Sarah Florence on the Global Foundation audiology team. They gave mini-lectures on hearing aids and verification. Over 60 children were brought in for practical sessions during which the Vietnamese led hearing tests and hearing aid checks. Hearing aids were fit on young children in need who will be supported by the technicians, teachers, and therapists we have trained over time.
We hosted a Parent Night in Binh Duong which was attended by over 70 families. The evening was led by the Vietnamese participants in our program (instead of our Global Foundation team) as a demonstration of the expertise that these Vietnamese have now to counsel parents and take the lead in providing information about their children who are deaf or hard of hearing.