The Listening Brain
About The Listening Brain
For most of us, we must be able to listen in order to speak. Put another way, listening plus speaking equals successful communication. Fortunately, for children with hearing loss, listening has become less of a challenge due to the availability of testing that allows early detection of hearing loss and the early use of advanced hearing technology – like hearing aids and cochlear implants. This podcast, The Listening Brain, will celebrate listening and speaking in the context of childhood hearing loss. Hosted by K. Todd Houston, Ph.D., a noted Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist, speech-language pathologist, and Professor, the podcast will explore educational trends, new developments in technology, and advances in research. We will interview professionals in the fields serving a child with hearing loss, and, most importantly, families who are supporting their children on this journey to listening and spoken language success. And, equally, as important, we’ll also hear from adults with hearing loss who will share their unique stories and experiences about growing up with deafness and how deafness is now being redefined for future generations.
Ellen Thomas is a senior speech-language pathologist and LSLS Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist at the University of Michigan where she provides direct intervention to children with hearing loss using an auditory-verbal approach. She is a part of the University of Michigan Cochlear Implant Program. Ellen has published articles in Otology & Neurotology and has given numerous presentations nationally and internationally related to the development of listening and spoken language in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Since its beginning in 2004, Ellen has worked on the outreach grant Sound Support throughout the state of Michigan to bridge the medical and educational needs of children with hearing loss. In addition to her work at the University of Michigan, Ellen is the co-director of and an instructor for the Institute for Cochlear Implant Training’s Auditory-Verbal Practice Course. Ellen received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She completed her certification in Auditory-Verbal Therapy in 2000. Ellen has had the privilege of serving on the Michigan EHDI board and the A.G. Bell Academy board. She is passionate about helping children learn to listen and talk so that hearing loss does not drive their choices in life. You can listen to this episode wherever you stream podcasts and at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Carol Flexer, PhD, CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT, received her doctorate in Audiology from Kent State University in 1982. She is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Audiology, The University of Akron. An international lecturer in pediatric and educational audiology and author of more than 155 publications including 17 books, Dr. Flexer is a past president of the Educational Audiology Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language. You can listen to this episode wherever you stream podcasts and at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Sylvia Rotfleisch, MSc(A), CCC/A, BSc(OT), LSLS Cert, AVT, is a certified Auditory-Verbal therapist, educator, and audiologist. She has devoted her career to providing therapy to families with children with hearing loss and teaching and mentoring other professionals. Trained at McGill University with Dr. Daniel Ling, Ms. Rotfleisch worked at Montreal Oral School for the Deaf, House Ear Institute, and Echo Horizon School before starting Hear to Talk (hear2talk.com), her own private practice. In addition to working with hundreds of families over more than 35 years, Ms. Rotfleisch has taught at University of Southern California, California Lutheran University, and led international master classes. She lectures, consults and mentors for school districts, helping to update their professional staff and mentors for LSL certification. She has presented at a wide variety of workshops and conferences. Ms. Rotfleisch has also served a variety of committees, including for AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language® and the task Force on Principles of Auditory-Verbal Therapy. Maura Martindale, EdD, LSL Cert. AVEd, is a certified Auditory Verbal Educator. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California in 1999. She is the founder and director of the Master’s Degree of Science in the Education of the Deaf and Credential Program, and is an Associate Professor, at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. She has provided guidance and support to families of children with hearing loss in listening and spoken language at No Limits for Deaf Children centers in Southern California for over 15 years. Throughout her 40-plus years teaching at numerous universities, Dr. Martindale has prepared hundreds of teachers of the deaf for schools and programs throughout the US. She was a teacher and Director of Educational Services at the John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles California for 26 years. You can listen to this episode wherever you listen to podcasts or at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast You can get Sylvia's and Maura's book at www.pluralpublishing.com
Kathryn Wilson Linder M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT is a speech-language pathologist, teacher of the deaf and Auditory-Verbal therapist, with more than 40 years of experience as an educator, therapist, and consultant in public school, private practice, home-based, and clinical settings. From 2014 until 2018, Kathryn held the position of Coaching and Mentoring Leader for Hearing First, This followed a position as Director of FIRST YEARS at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Kathryn is a founding member of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance, has been a member of the Coordinating Committee for the American Speech and Hearing Association Special Interest Group, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood and has served on the Board of Directors for The CARE Project. Kathryn has contributed to the professional literature as an author of several articles on a variety of topics. She provides professional learning opportunities both nationally and internationally and mentors professionals pursuing certification in Listening and Spoken Language practice. You can listen to this episode wherever you listen to podcasts or at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Suzanne Picerno is a former corporate professional, who lost her hearing over a 30-year period of time. From hearing aid wearer to becoming functionally deaf, she is an example of what can be achieved despite the appearance of obstacles. Today, Suzanne has bilateral cochlea implants and is a passionate advocate for creating hearing awareness. She has an MA in clinical psychology, an MBA, and is a licensed hearing aid specialist. Eddie the Elephant’s Magical Ear is her first published book, as well as the first book in the Eddie the Elephant Series. Amazon Link https://amzn.to/3MZktB8 Social Media Suzanne can be found online at: www.athomehearingservices.org Facebook Group: Breaking the Silence of Hearing Loss: www.facebook.com/groups/2674496696176741 www.linkedin.com/in/suzannepicerno Twitter: @DeafGrl2 email: firstname.lastname@example.org You can listen to this episode at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Christy is a relational therapist and deaf educator, bringing mindful and yogic principles, energy healing modalities, plus evidence based therapeutic models to her practice with families and practitioners in the field of deaf education. In 2016, Christy completed her masters in Deaf Education from Washington University and later completed her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2021. She brings these together in her work of Deafness Relations, where she helps hearing parents of DHH children gain clarity and help them navigate their emotions. Christy is also an advocate for deaf education services in Hawaii and founded Hawaii Hears in 2017 to bring more services to the islands for families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing. You can follow Christy on Instagram, Facebook, or send her an email Hello@christychadwick.com http://www.facebook.com/hawaiihears www.christychadwick.com www.hawaiihears.com IG: @Christy.Chadwick.Healing IG: @hawaiihears IG: @deafnessrelations You can listen to this podcast at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Dr. Dimity Dornan, AO is a social entrepreneur, bionics advocate, speech pathologist, researcher, Founder and Executive Director of Hear and Say, and Founder and Chair of Bionics Queensland. Dimity has also been appointed to Adjunct Professor to the University of Queensland and Adjunct Professor to the Science and Engineering Faculty, School of Mechanical, Medical & Process Engineering. In 1992, she established Hear and Say as a leading not-for-profit for deaf children learning to listen and speak, particularly with surgically implantable hearing technology like the bionic ear. She is currently sharing her experience for the benefit of the stakeholders in the wider bionics industry through Bionics Queensland. Dr Dornan is aiming to bring outcomes similar to those legendary ones possible for many people who use the bionic ear to other new spin-off devices (e.g. bionic eye, deep brain stimulation, bionic organs and limbs etc.). You learn more about Dr. Dornan and her passions at: http://hearandsay.com.au/ http://www.bionicsqueensland.com.au/ You can listen to this episode at: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss, (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues. Connect with Shari: Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. You can access this episode by visiting: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
Born in a small town of Summit Station, Ohio east of Columbus, Jaime Vernon will make you laugh, cry and feel like getting out and making a difference. She is the founder and Executive Director of Songs for Sound, a 501c3 non-profit organization she started in 2011. Jaime is the mother of two teenagers, Jacob (17, normal hearing child) & Lexi (14), who is profoundly deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants. She is a coach, a missionary, public speaker, motivator and lives life to inspire others into action in their corner of the world. Jaime has turned her daughter's gaps in hearing healthcare into a movement. Jaime was heartbroken at the thought that, like Lexi, people could go without the beautiful sounds life has to offer including music because of bad information or lack of understanding about where to get help for hearing loss. Jaime believes every human being on the planet deserves the right to hear, yet most people lack understanding, awareness or access to get help. Songs for Sound has a mobile hearing health outreach project that has toured 35+ states, countless cities and communities and provided over 31,000 people free hearing screenings, information and awareness. They've hosted over 900 free hearing health events and have over 700 community partner organizations and businesses. Songs for Sound started its international business model in Jamaica in 2014 and will continue its work helping to build a model for hearing healthcare systems in developing nations by returning this Fall to work with the Jamaican government to establish early intervention strategies and testing, awareness and increase interest in hearing and speech careers. Songs for Sound also hosts an annual Hear the Music Kids Camp each year for families with children with hearing loss. Jaime believes in the following pillars and approach: Outreach and Awareness Care Team support (team of people who nurture and help families navigate the hearing journey) Hope Programs (programs to help people of all ages to live sustainably & thrive with hearing technology) Jaime is passionate about helping people feel great about themselves and living their best lives. Simply put, Jaime wants to change teh world and believes God has called her to help those living with untreated hearing loss, to receive a gift and miracle of hearing. To learn more or donate, SongsForSound.org To partner as a clinic, audiologist, company or sponsor: email@example.com, 615.739.1194 You can listen to this episode by visiting: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast
As Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists, Jim and Lea Watson have over forty-five years experience promoting listening and speaking as a way of life for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Both trained under the late Auditory-Verbal Pioneers, Dr. Daniel Ling and Helen Beebe. Jim’s and Lea’s certification in LSLS Cert AVT is from 1994, the initial exam. Jim is a past president of Auditory-Verbal International and past Board member of the A G Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In 1980, Jim implemented the Auditory-Verbal Inclusion Program for children who are d/hoh in the Gloucester Public School System, Gloucester, MA USA. He directed and expanded that program for 34 years. In 1980, as a husband-wife team, Lea and Jim started the Auditory-Verbal Communication Center in Gloucester, MA-a private practice offering parent guidance for families from all over New England. The Watsons helped children attend school in their hometowns until specialists became available in those locations. Lea specialized in teaching parents of infants and preschoolers. She is the recipient of the 2008 Helen H. Beebe Memorial Award for mentors in AVT. From day one, the Watsons accepted students and other professionals to observe therapy or mentor with them. Throughout their career they presented at Boston hospitals and at conferences with the A G Bell Association and the New England Cochlear Implant Association. As international consultants for children with hearing loss they worked in Canada, England, Australia, Qatar, and around the USA. They volunteered in Vietnam in 2011 & 2012 with the Global Foundation for children with hearing loss. In 2020, they taught an online introductory course in Auditory-Verbal Therapy with the University of Hong Kong Special Education Dept. Now, retired, Jim and Lea spend time traveling, sailing, hiking, writing, painting, as they continue to speak up and promote spoken language for children who are deaf/hard of hearing. Most of all, they enjoy listening and talking with their five grandchildren who all live in Gloucester.
Dana Suskind, MD, is Founder and Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Public Policy (affiliated) at the University of Chicago. A recognized thought leader on the national stage, Dana has dedicated her research and clinical life to optimizing foundational brain development and preventing early cognitive disparities and their lifelong impact. Her work is focused in particular on helping parents leverage their power as brain architects. Dr. Suskind is the author of Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise and Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Fellow for the Council on Early Childhood. Her work has been profiled by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, The Economist, Forbes, NPR, and Freakonomics. To access this episode, please visit: www.3cdigitalmedianetwork.com/the-listening-brain-podcast/
Lydia Denworth is an award-winning science journalist and a sought-after speaker. She is a contributing editor at Scientific American and the author of Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond, which was named one of the best leadership books of 2020 by Adam Grant and called “the best of science writing” by Booklist. She has written two other books of popular science: I Can Hear You Whisper and Toxic Truth. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family.
Michelle Hu has been a pediatric audiologist for over 10 years working with diagnostics, hearing amplification options, cochlear implant evaluations, hearing aid programming and aural rehabilitation. What makes Michelle distinctive is that she grew up hard of hearing herself. She was fit with hearing aids at the age of 3 years and now utilizes bilateral cochlear implants. Her unique and personal experiences lend to her innate ability to relate and be a role model for others who are deaf/hard of hearing (DHH). She also serves as a source of strength and hope for parents of DHH children. As a military spouse and mother of three, Michelle strives to balance family life, clinical practice and entrepreneurship. During her maternity leave with her second child, she found herself missing the relationships created while in the clinic with patients. Thus, Mama Hu Hears was created as a space to connect back to her passion and share both personal and professional experiences with hearing loss and within the field of audiology. When Mama Hu Hears was created, thousands of people within the DHH community (especially parents of DHH children) reached out to her for help, guidance and to share their stories. Michelle knew she had found her purpose and made it her mission to do something more to support those who needed her and related to her the most. She has created an online program titled "My Child Has Hearing Loss, Now What?" to support anxious and doubtful parents on their DHH journey and to provide hearing healthcare professionals valuable and functional knowledge to improve and maximize the outcomes for clients. To learn more, visit: www.mamahuhears.com
As a busy mom of eight, Heather is no stranger to doctor appointments, speech therapy, audiologists, counseling, IEP meetings, and more. She has spent the last 18 years learning about challenges her kids have or are facing and advocating for them so they feel successful. These opportunities have taught her a great deal about therapy-based clinics and endeared her to the hardworking professionals that own them. Combining these experiences with her background in marketing, has given Heather the unique opportunity to help therapy-based clinics build thriving and vibrant practices so they may bring their much needed services to more people. She is the owner of Therapy Marketing Solutions and Inspired Web Design.
From the moment she received her son Jordan’s deafness diagnosis, Jodi dedicated herself to finding the most suitable tools for improving quality of life for families living a journey in hearing loss, rising to a high level of professionalism as a consultant and advocate for inclusion rights through various international initiatives. Since RALLY CAPS, among her many professional accomplishments, Jodi has published 4 books both in English and Italian.
Lilian obtained a degree in Special Education in 1980. Has the specialization in Cognition and Language and a Master's in Educational Technology. She also has a Ph.D. degree in Pedagogy. She was certified in Auditory-Verbal Therapy in 2003 by the AG Bell Academy for LSL. She also was recognized with the award for the best professional of the year in 2005 by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is the author of four books related to hearing rehabilitation and an App.
Pam Dawson, M.Ed., has been working in the field of Early Intervention for over 25 years. She holds a Masters degree in Early Intervention from the University of Maine. As the director of hear ME now, a listening and spoken language program in Maine, she works to promote access to qualified LSL providers to all families in northern New England, regardless of geographic location. hear ME now has been successfully using tele-intervention to coach families for over 10 years. Pam serves on the Board of Directors for OPTION, the EHDI Planning Committee, and facilitates the NCHAM Tele-Intervention Learning Community. She has also served as co-chair of the Maine Part C Interagency Coordinating Council and a Northern New England Collaborative to examine access to services for families in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Shelley Moats, Au.D., PASC, is a Board Certified Pediatric Audiologist in Louisville, KY. She founded Little Ears Hearing Center in 2010, which merged with Home of the Innocents/Open Arms Children's Health in 2017. Little Ears will become part of Norton Children's ENT and Audiology effective 10/1/2021. To Dr. Moats, the most enjoyable part of her job is using science and technology, alongside providing family support, to help children grow into their best selves. “It’s extremely rewarding to develop these long term relationships,” she shares. Dr. Moats has more than 25 years of experience providing comprehensive, family-centered pediatric audiology services. She provides diagnosis and treatment for childhood hearing loss including hearing aids and cochlear implants. She is active on numerous committees to promote quality pediatric audiology services at both the state and national level. Outside of work, Dr. Moats enjoys spending time with her family, attending her children’s sporting events, being outside, and reading.
Ellen A. Rhoades, Ed.S. is a consultant, mentor, researcher, and writer. Across all continents, she serves colleagues, early intervention service providers, and families including their children with hearing loss. In 1977, she founded a non-profit auditory-verbal center in Atlanta USA and served as its executive director for 17 years. Additionally, she secured, developed, and directed a 3-year federal grant providing exemplary EI auditory-verbal services for the state of Georgia. She also established an auditory-verbal program in Tampa FL and was its executive director for 8 years as well as served as advisor to other auditory-verbal centers in other nations. Her 100+ published works include professional journal articles and chapters as well as her co-authored books entitled “Auditory-Verbal Practice: Family-Centered Intervention” (first and second editions), “Aural (Re)habilitation for Adolescents with Hearing Loss” and “Auditory-Verbal Therapy.” Her areas of expertise include psychosocial aspects of hearing loss, families of children with hearing loss, infant development, cross-modal learning, communication skills assessment, cross-cultural competence, self-determination, and the development of listening, auditory memory, spoken language, and cognitive capacities.
Barbara Hecht, director of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in the Boston area (Clarke Boston), received her undergraduate degree in linguistics and psychology at Harvard University and her PhD in linguistics and child language development at Stanford University. She has a long and accomplished career as an educator and deaf education specialist. She has long been an innovator in and advocate of distance learning. Prior to her work at Clarke, Dr. Hecht directed the John Tracy Clinic (JTC) in Los Angeles, CA. At Clarke, Dr. Hecht has been a leader in the development of teleservices for families of infants and young children. About Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech & Clarke’s Evidence-Based Teleservices Children who are deaf or hard of hearing learn to listen and talk at Clarke. After expanding its brick-and-mortar locations along the East Coast, the national nonprofit organization continued to hear from families who were not able to access Clarke’s in-person listening and spoken language (LSL) early intervention services. In response to this need, Clarke created the tVISIT (telepractice: Virtual Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers) Program with support from private foundations and pilot funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Since 2013, tVISITs give families direct access to experienced, listening and spoken language, early intervention practitioners, regardless of the family’s proximity to on-site services. The Donahue Institute (University of Massachusetts) has provided formative feedback and summative evaluation during all phases of Clarke’s implementation of the tVISIT Program. In addition to increasing the accessibility of Clarke’s early intervention services, evaluation data demonstrate the effectiveness of this mode of service delivery. Not only do tVISIT children make developmental progress comparable to that of in-person-only children, but tVISITs support professional-caregiver communication and parent coaching. For example, in a recent survey, more than 95% of caregivers participating in tVISITS said that they were able to establish effective communication and healthy relationships with their tVISIT provider and were confident that they acquired effective strategies for developing their child’s communication skills. Today, Clarke has adopted tVISITs as an evidence-based standard of care in early intervention at its five locations.
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