Title: ''BabyTalk' - Meeting the Unique Challenges of High-Risk Families Through a Tele-therapy Program'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): Tele-intervention, High-risk families
Learning Objectives:
  1. Discuss at least 3 unique intervention strategies to be used with high risk families, which will ultimately improve outcomes post-implantation.
  2. Discuss best practices in the design of a tele-therapy program intended for high-risk families.
  3. Identify at least 2 categories of challenges that place a family in the high-risk category.


BabyTalk is a transformative parent-coaching tele-therapy program for families of children, ages 0-3, who are deaf/hard of hearing and use hearing technology. These families live in geographic areas without access to professionals who can provide listening and spoken language services. Our team of tele-therapists provide weekly one-hour sessions using a parent-coaching model via Face-Time, with iPads. The team also includes a bilingual social worker and consulting audiologist. Eighty-six percent of the families served are considered 'high risk' families who live in rural and/or low income communities and present with specific challenges. Categories of this 'challenged' status include: low SES level, child's behavioral issues, additional medical concerns, lack of social support and language/cultural barriers. BabyTalk provides assessments that establish a baseline of need for each family, and creates a service delivery model that aims to effectively address their unique challenges. BabyTalk is a tele-therapy program that includes the capacity to assess and address these challenges. The addition of a social worker, bilingual services, collaboration with Early Intervention providers and CI teams can improve outcomes post-implantation. High-risk families can be successful, but need guidance and more information over time in order to fully integrate medical information and understand their role in the CI process, follow-up care, and participation in their child's education long-term.
Presentation: Tuesday_Clements_345_JoyKearns_1659.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: Topical Session 8- 1659.rtf
Joy Kearns - Primary Presenter,Author
     Credentials: M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVEd
      Joy A. Murdock Kearns, M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd serves as Director of the BabyTalk Teletherapy Program, which is a cooperative offering between the Weingarten Children's Center and Stanford University School of Medicine. Joy also works with graduate scholars on the federal Project Aural Impact grant at San Jose State University. Previously Joy served as Associate Director of the Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants (PPCI) Training Program. Joy has served as the lead speech-language pathologist on 3 multidisciplinary cochlear implant teams. Joy received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara and her graduate degree at San Francisco State University, where she completed a specialization track in Aural Rehabilitation. She is licensed by the State of California, maintains her Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and she is a LSLS Cert AVEd.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Kathy Sussman - Co-Presenter,Author
Weingarten Children's Center
     Credentials: M.Sc.
     Other Affiliations: BabyTalk at Stanford University School of Medicine San Jose State University
      Kathleen Sussman is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Hearing Research which operates the Weingarten Children's Center. Ms. Sussman has served two terms on the National Alexander Graham Bell Association Board of Directors and one term as President. Ms. Sussman has served on the Executive Committee of Option Schools, an international organization of private Listening and Spoken language programs. She was a founding member of this group. Ms. Sussman earned her graduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and has since directed auditory oral programs in Canada and the United States. She co-produced “Dreams Spoken Here”, a documentary film series that has been distributed world-wide in multiple languages. Ms. Sussman served as a a faculty member of PPCI for seven years. She currently teaches scholars on the Project Aural Impact grant at San Jose State University.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -