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5 things this pediatric audiologist wants you to know

pediatric audiologist
When you are a parent of a child with hearing loss, it can be hard to learn all new information about what it means to have a hearing loss.

Lindsay Cockburn Au.D. is a pediatric audiologist who is using social media to spread awareness to parents and anyone else who may have a loved one living with hearing loss.

Dr. Cockburn, who has been an audiologist since 2012, says she originally went into the audiology field because of her love for medicine, health, biology, helping people, technology, and creative problem-solving.

“I always knew I wanted to work with kids and initially wanted to be a pediatrician,” she says.

After growing tired of chemistry and calculus classes during undergrad, Dr. Cockburn witch her major to Communication Sciences and Disorders. She thought her next move would be to become a speech-language pathologist, but realized after some years of experience that the job didn’t suit her.

“I didn’t have the patience to see people weekly and wait (sometimes years) to see progress,” she explains. “I started observing at my school’s Audiology clinic and got to see someone’s cochlear implant get turned on for the first time. It was before those videos were on YouTube and it was just as amazing in person! That’s when I knew I wanted to be an audiologist because it combines all of my interests and passions and I can help someone and change their life instantly.”

Tips for parents of children with hearing loss

Dr. Cockburn shares with us her top tips for everyone to know about hearing loss, specifically hearing loss in children.

1) Talk, read, sing!

“Talk, read, and sing with your babies and kids daily,” Dr. Cockburn advises. “The more the better! Kids aren’t born smart they’re made smart by their experiences which are mostly at home with their parents. Don’t just label objects and colors, have real back and forth conversations to help brain development.”

2) Make sure your child’s devices are on all-day

“If your goal is for your child with hearing loss to talk then they must wear their hearing devices all day every day,” Dr. Cockburn says. “Eyes open, ears on! If you suspect they don’t want to wear the device is because of the sound (too loud, too soft, not clear) then keep following up with the audiologist until you get the settings right. You may even need a second opinion. If the problem is with physically keeping them on the ears there are many options and it takes trial and error to figure out what will work for your child at different ages and stages. Don’t give up!”

3) Connect with the deaf and hard of hearing community

“If your child has hearing loss make sure you are introducing them to other people with hearing loss- kids their age and adults,” Dr. Cockburn suggests. “If you don’t know anyone else ask your audiologist to connect you to another family. Watch videos with your child of people who wear hearing devices like them. Read books by and about people with hearing loss. Let them know they’re not alone! It can also help you feel less alone.”

4) Using remote microphones, everywhere!

“Everyone with hearing loss can benefit from Remote Microphone Technology,” says Dr. Cockburn. “This is also called FM/DM/Mini Mic/Phonak Roger. Basically a parent would wear a microphone that wirelessly sends the sound directly to their child’s hearing device. This makes speech more clear. It helps overcome the constant issues of distance, noise, and reverberation that make for difficult listening situations. We used to be more conservative (and some people still are) about using this technology with younger children who couldn’t report if there’s a problem. Now that the technology is much more reliable we know that benefits far outweigh the small chance that there may be some technical difficulties. I recommend using it as much as possible at home, in the car, on the go, at the grocery store, at the zoo, etc.”

5) You’ve got the power!

 

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Parents are powerful! Parents are experts on their children. Getting a hearing loss diagnosis can be so overwhelming. Just remember that you’ve got this. Keep loving that baby, keep learning as much as you can, and keep moving one step at a time and you’ll be reaching your goals before you know it! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I wrote this as a tip for an upcoming post on @hearinglikeme_ but it’s so important I wanted to get it out there ASAP. #audiology #audiologist #pediatricaudiology #pediatricaudiologist #aud2be #aud #audpeeps #hearing #hearingloss #deaf #dhh #audbloggers #audstudent #audiologystudent #deafkidsrock #listeningandspokenlanguage #deafbabies #pediatrics #mompower #mompowerment #mompowered #parentinggoals #cochlearimplantkids #cochlearfamily #parentsarethefirstteachers #parentsarethebest #familycenteredcare

A post shared by Lindsay Cockburn (@listenwithlindsay) on

“Parents are powerful!” Dr. Cockburn exclaims. “Parents are experts on their children. Getting a hearing loss diagnosis can be so overwhelming. Just remember that you’ve got this. Keep loving that baby, keep learning as much as you can, and keep moving one step at a time and you’ll be reaching your goals before you know it!”
Follow Dr. Cockburn on Instagram @listenwithlindsay
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The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill von Bueren, Kirsten Brackett and Lisa Goldstein.
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The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill von Bueren, Kirsten Brackett and Lisa Goldstein.