Title: 'Profiling Hearing Aid Use in School-Age Children with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss'
Track: 2 - Audiological Services
Keyword(s): audiology, age of identification, hearing aid use, classroom, mild-to-moderate hearing loss
Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe hearing aid device usage patterns observed in school-age children with mild-to-moderate hearing loss in middle Tennessee.
  2. Demonstrate how early childhood services can influence hearing aid usage in the classroom with older children with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.


Successful implementation of nationwide early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) services has effectively decreased the age at which children with hearing loss are screened, diagnosed, and fit with amplification. Despite this progress, there are several reports that children with mild-to-moderate hearing loss (MMHL) are continually identified and fit at later ages than children with more severe degrees of hearing loss. Although the benefits of early identification and amplification on language are widely studied, less is understood about the potential effects of later identification and amplification on future patterns of assistive technology use. Consistency of device use in children with hearing loss is a relevant topic; however, research extending to older children is scant. This poster will examine how hearing aid device use in children with MMHL may be influenced by early childhood services. Understanding the factors influencing hearing aid use in school-age children with MMHL may assist physicians and service providers when counseling families of children with MMHL and may help identify children at risk for infrequent device use. Study participants were 6-12 year-old children exhibiting MMHL who were enrolled in an ongoing research study at Vanderbilt University exploring the effects of MMHL on fatigue and listening effort in school-age children. Parental reports of age of identification, age of amplification, and estimated daily device use were collected. Children were observed in their classrooms at two time-points on two school days to monitor typical use of assistive technology (i.e. hearing aids and FM systems). Preliminary data reveal that the mean age of identification was 5 years old, ranging from birth to 11 years. Thus far, no enrolled children with MMHL have met EHDI guidelines for screening, diagnosis, and intervention of hearing loss. Further analyses will explore relationships between early service provision and patterns of device use in the classroom.
Presentation: Poster_EmilyFustos_1648.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: CART Transcription is not Available
Amanda Headley - Primary Presenter,POC
Vanderbilt University
     Credentials: B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders
      Amanda Headley is an international student from Trinidad and Tobago pursuing her Doctor of Audiology at Vanderbilt University; she earned her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a third year graduate student at Vanderbilt, Amanda is completing a specialty track in pediatric Audiology and is passionate about providing clinical services to underserved populations in developing countries. She has successfully completed her pediatric traineeship in the Vanderbilt Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program and enjoys serving children and special needs populations. Her research interests include language and developmental outcomes in children with hearing loss.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -
Emily Fustos - Co-Presenter,POC
Vanderbilt University
     Credentials: B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders
      Emily Fustos is currently a third year Audiology doctoral student at Vanderbilt University. She earned her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders as well as Minors in Business and Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. During her first year at Vanderbilt, she served as a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) long-term trainee in 2012-2013. She is currently completing the pediatric specialty track at Vanderbilt University and is passionate about establishing a future career as a pediatric audiologist. She began working as a research assistant for the Listening and Learning Lab at Vanderbilt's Bill Wilkerson Center in August 2013. Her primary clinical and research interests are in serving children with hearing loss, specializing in cochlear implants and bimodal (hearing aid and cochlear implant) users.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Fred Bess - Author
Vanderbilt University
     Credentials: Ph. D. in Audiology, Director the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication; Professor of Audiology in the Vanderbilt Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences.
      Fred H. Bess, PhD, is Director the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication and Professor of Audiology in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. He served as Chair of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences from 1978 until 2009. Dr. Bess completed his undergraduate education at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, his Master’s at Vanderbilt University, and his Ph.D. in Audiology at the University of Michigan. In 1969 he initiated and directed the Audiology Program at Central Michigan University, remaining there until joining Vanderbilt faculty in 1976. He has authored over a hundred journal articles, book chapters, and books dealing with hearing and hearing impairment. Also numbering over one hundred are professional papers presented at scholarly meetings throughout the country. He has been principal investigator or project director for several million dollars in privately and federally funded research, training and demonstration grants.
Samantha Gustafson - Author
Vanderbilt University
     Credentials: Au.D., CCC-A
      Samantha Gustafson, AuD, CCC-A, is currently a PhD student at Vanderbilt University. She earned her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science (2008) and her Doctorate of Audiology (2012) from Arizona State University. During her graduate studies, she worked as a research assistant in the Pediatric Amplification Lab at Arizona State University and also trained at Boys Town National Research Hospital in the Hearing Aid Research Lab. Samantha completed her clinical externship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital where she also served as a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) trainee. Her past research experiences include the effectiveness of advanced signal processing in children's hearing aids, procedures for incorporating real-ear measures into hearing aid fittings, and clinical measures of middle ear pathology in typically developing infants and children with Down syndrome. Her research interests are in individualizing audiological approaches to fit hearing aids for children with varying cognitive and developmental disabilities.