Title: 'Interdisciplinary Assessment of Children with Hearing Loss and Other Disabilities: Challenges and Rewards '
Track: 3-Early Intervention and Beyond
Keyword(s): assessment, multiple disabilities
Learning Objectives: Identify conditions co-existing with hearing loss in children. Describe key components of an interdisciplinary assessment team and process. Discuss challenges and benefits associated with assessment of children who have conditions co-existing with hearing loss.


It is estimated that at least one-third of children who are deaf or hard of hearing have one or more neuro-developmental or related disabilities. These conditions include autism, intellectual disabilities, social-emotional disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, visual impairment, motor delays, and learning differences. Meeting the complex needs of these children requires the expertise of professionals from several disciplines. Consequently, families and EHDI service providers often encounter difficulty obtaining an accurate diagnosis or appropriate treatment plan. In 2010, a group of professionals at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with expertise in audiology, speech-language pathology, psychology, education, and physical/occupational therapy created an interdisciplinary ‘Hearing and Development Clinic’ at The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. The mission of this clinical program is to provide an interdisciplinary assessment of children with hearing loss whose families or service providers suspect additional challenges or disabilities. Referrals are accepted from our pediatric audiology colleagues at UNC Hospitals and from UNC’s pediatric cochlear implant team. Children and their families are seen for a full-day interdisciplinary evaluation by professionals and graduate students from several disciplines. The presentation will begin with a review of co-morbidities that occur with hearing loss including their principle characteristics and prevalence. We will follow with a description of the referral process, intake procedures, evaluation practices, interpretative conferences, partnerships with other agencies/service providers, the role of students, and the format we use for reports/follow-up. We will also examine the cost of providing the assessments including billing and reimbursement issues. Selected cases will be used to illustrate the challenges and rewards associated with interdisciplinary team assessment of children with hearing loss.
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Jackson Roush - UNC-Chapel Hill
     Credentials: Ph.D.
      Jackson Roush, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. He is also Section Head for Audiology at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities where he serves as coordinator of the Hearing and Development Clinic. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Dr. Roush has been a pediatric audiologist for over 30 years. He has published and presented on a broad range of topics related to hearing loss in children, and has served on numerous EHDI-related working groups and task forces including the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing.
Kathryn Wilson - Oberkotter Foundation Education Endeavor
     Credentials: M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS, Cert. AVT
      Kathryn Wilson, is the Director of Embedded Practice of the Oberkotter Foundation educational endeavor. Kathryn served as the Director of FIRST YEARS and as Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, since 2008 - 2014. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the online certificate program, including managing the significant mentoring component for participants earning their certificates. As Director of Embedded Practice, Kathryn champions the mentoring and coaching opportunities, primarily through the use of distance technology for the Oberkotter Learning Community.