Academic journal article Communication Disorders Quarterly

Survey of Educational Preparation in Pediatric Audiology: A Decade Later

Academic journal article Communication Disorders Quarterly

Survey of Educational Preparation in Pediatric Audiology: A Decade Later

Article excerpt

Audiologists have a wide range of responsibilities, including the identification and treatment of hearing loss. These responsibilities are important when dealing with any population; however, working with children presents unique challenges. Children must receive prompt, thorough evaluations and intervention to minimize the adverse effects of hearing loss in areas such as speech and language, academic, and social-emotional development. The authors of a national survey examined the educational preparation of audiologists to work with the pediatric population. Responses revealed much room for improvement. More than 40% of both the audiologists and the program directors stated that the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) requirements for the Clinical Certificate of Competence in Audiology were insufficient to prepare audiologists to perform pediatric assessments. In addition, the majority of both groups felt that the ASHA requirements were inadequate to prepare audiologists to provide pediatric habilitation. The literature suggests a demand for audiologists who have considerable academic and practicum experience with this population upon graduation. In this article, results of a national survey replicating the original study are reported. Although improvements were noted, there continue to be areas of concern related to the timely identification of and intervention with our youngest patients.

Throughout the United States, many children are diagnosed with some form of hearing loss each year. According to the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH; 1994), 1 of every 1,000 children is born deaf. In addition, many children have less severe forms of hearing impairment. Oyler, Oyler, and Matkin (1988) reported the prevalence of unilateral hearing loss (excluding otitis media) to be 2 per 1,000 in a large, metropolitan school district. Goldberg (1993) estimated that 6 of every 1,000 children were diagnosed with a unilateral or bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. More recently, Bess, Dodd-Murphy, and Parker (1998) reported the prevalence of all hearing loss among a sample of students in Grades 3, 6, and 9 to be 11.3%, approximately equally divided between sensorineural and conductive etiologies. Regardless of the etiology, effects of a hearing loss may include delays in language acquisition (Carney & Moeller, 1998; Mauk, White, Mortensen, & Behrens, 1991), speech perception and production (Carney & Moeller, 1998; Elfenbein, Hardin-Jones, & Davis, 1994; Oller & Eilers, 1988), parent--child bonding and/or social--emotional development (Davis, Elfenbein, Schum, & Bentler, 1986; National Institutes of Health, 1993), and/or academic achievement (Davis et al., 1986; Oyler et al., 1988).

In 1987, Oyler and Matkin published results of a national survey focusing on the academic and practicum preparation in pediatric assessment, habilitation, and counseling (see Note 1). Surveys were distributed to the 94 directors of accredited audiology programs and to 200 most-recent recipients of the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A). General findings regarding coursework requirements were similar between audiologists and program directors. Approximately 8% of the audiologists and 12% of the program directors reported no course devoted to pediatric assessment. Thirty-nine percent of the audiologists reported that they obtained no clock hours in the assessment of neonates (birth-4 months), and 27% reported obtaining 15 or less clock hours. Further, many audiologists (37%) reported obtaining 15 or less clock hours of infant assessments (4 months-2 years). Except for the school-age category, program directors consistently reported that their graduates obtained more practicum experience than was reported by the audiologists. Regarding the adequacy of program requirements, 30% of the audiologists reported being unprepared for the assessment of children, whereas only 10% of the directors reported that their program did not sufficiently prepare graduates for pediatric assessment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.