Spotlight on Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Children A brief look at Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Children. SIG Spotlight
SIG Spotlight  |   October 01, 2013
Spotlight on Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Children
Author Notes
  • Melody Harrison, PhD, CCC-SLP is professor and coordinator of master's studies in the Speech and Hearing Sciences department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is associate coordinator of Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / ASHA News & Member Stories / SIG Spotlight
SIG Spotlight   |   October 01, 2013
Spotlight on Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Children
The ASHA Leader, October 2013, Vol. 18, online only. doi:10.1044/
The ASHA Leader, October 2013, Vol. 18, online only. doi:10.1044/
When was SIG 9 founded?
SIG 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Children, was established in 1991.
How many affiliates does SIG 9 have?
There were 97 founding members, and today that number has grown to 572. SIG 9 is a relatively small group, and unusual in that our dynamic membership is fairly evenly represented by audiologists who work with children and speech-language pathologists who serve children with hearing loss.
Why should ASHA members affiliate with SIG 9?
A primary goal of SIG 9 is to promote collaboration among professionals required to support children and their families in reaching Joint Commission on Infant Hearing goals—and to help children reach their full potential. In the United States we have extensive programs to screen the hearing of newborns, technologies that provide access to speech for those families who choose to pursue a spoken language option for their child, and some of the most comprehensive graduate education programs in audiology and speech-language pathology in the world. Yet, we are not maximizing that wealth of resources to achieve best outcomes for children. If you work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, SIG 9 needs you!
How does SIG 9 affect the membership at large?
With the establishment of newborn hearing screening programs across the country and advances in hearing aid and cochlear implant technologies, most children with hearing loss have access to audition. Yet, despite that potential, without appropriately fitted devices and the support audiologists and SLPs can provide, children with hearing loss often do not reach their inherent potential.
As recently as 2012, Holte and colleagues reported that only 32 percent of the children participating in a multicenter study attained all four of the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing benchmarks on time, despite the fact that none of the children had other conditions which might have masked or delayed management of their hearing loss, and that all were from families who spoke English.
What are some benefits of affiliating with SIG 9 that everyone should know about?
In preparation for the 2013 ASHA Convention in Chicago (Nov. 13–16), SIG 9 worked with two convention planning topic areas—"Intervention/Habilitation for Infants and Children With Hearing Loss" and "Infant and Child Hearing: Screening and Assessment"—to co-sponsor four outstanding presentations by audiologists and SLPs. A fifth presentation will feature a panel of all the presenters addressing case questions, with a focus on professional collaboration.
Each of the presentations will contain information of interest to anyone who works with children with hearing loss. Please join SIG 9's affiliates at any or all of them.
  • Michael Douglas, Maura Berndsen and Teresa Caraway will tackle the challenges of school and service delivery in the current, rapidly changing landscape in a SIG 9 short course.

  • Renee Gifford and Jace Wolfe will present "Audiologic Assessment: Birth Through School-age: When Is it Time to Consider a CI?" This is a question many professionals face with families and certainly one that is best answered with information from multiple sources.

  • Erin Schafer will present "Beyond the Audiogram: Speech Perception and Outcome Measures." Her work has focused extensively on the effects of environment—including that created via differing technologies—on speech perception. Many SLPs who work with children with hearing loss report that assessment is a particularly challenging area.

  • Tom Page and Lauren Berry, SLPs with specialized preparation in childhood hearing loss, have spent the past five years assessing speech production, perception, receptive and expressive language, and cognitive development in a cohort of children 9 months to 10 years old who are hard-of-hearing. Their presentation will cover "Challenges of Assessment" in this age group.

Which of your recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for CSD professionals and why?
Children with hearing loss, in addition to other conditions that put children developmentally at risk, require multiple professionals' involvement. Susan Wiley's article in the October 2012 issue of Perspectives, "Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing With Additional Learning Needs" stresses strategies to identify appropriate team members and collaboration to achieve improved outcomes.
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October 2013
Volume 18, Issue 10