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Find Qualified Professionals

Click here to locate a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist who has become a certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. Note: There are very few Certified therapists in Indiana at this time. You may need to search for speech-language pathologists or deaf educators who have taken additional coursework in listening and spoken language strategies, but are not yet Certified.

ENTs

When your child does not pass the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening process, discuss with your primary care physician the next steps: 1) a medical evaluation of the hearing loss by an otolaryngologist [Ear, Nose, Throat physician (ENT)] and 2) a determination of the degree and type of hearing loss by an audiologist. When scheduling your child’s appointment, you should ask the ENT physician and audiologist if they are comfortable and experienced with evaluating children with hearing loss. Your physician should have received a physician toolkit for newborn hearing loss from the Indiana State Department of Health.  Check out the detailed information on how to find qualified professionals in your area.

Click here for a very thorough list of topics your physician should discuss with you. You may want to print it out and take it with you to discuss all the tests they can do.

Once the hearing loss has been confirmed, you’ll need to discuss communication options. If you choose to pursue a listening and spoken language modality, please check out the additional pages on finding a qualified therapist.

Finding an Otologist (Neurotologist) or Pediatric Otolaryngologist

ENTs with expertise in childhood hearing loss are sometimes difficult to find.  Probably the quickest and easiest way to find such a physician is to go to the website of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). Follow these steps. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom before beginning your search.

  • Go to http://www.entnet.org. In the center of the page is a box "Find an ENT By".
  • In this box you have several options. Don't make your search too stringent or you may not have many "hits."
  • Leave doctor's "Name" blank.
  • Put in the distance you are willing to travel.  Then put in your zip code.  If you do not get enough results, try leaving the distance and zip code blank, and instead choose Indiana under "State/Province.”
  • Under "Specialty" there are four subspecialties which care for children with childhood hearing loss:
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology: These physicians completed additional fellowship training in childhood ENT diseases, surgeries including hearing loss and ear surgery.
  • Neurotology: These specialists completed additional fellowship training in childhood and adult ear disease, hearing loss and ear surgeries.
  • Otology: Otologists focus on disease of the ear in adults and children; they may have completed fellowship training.
  • General Otolaryngology: These doctors completed ENT residency. They are qualified and trained to treat ear, nose, throat problems in children and adults including hearing loss. They did NOT take the additional training required by the three specialists listed above.
  • Begin by selecting specialists 1, 2, or 3. Click "Go." If there are too many, you may want to narrow your search.
  • Do the same search again but this time select one of the other specialties.
  • Note: a good number of doctors are listed under several of the above so there aren't as many choices as you might first think.
  • If you don’t have any specialists (1,2, or 3) in your area, search for #4 General Otolaryngologists.  A General Otolaryngologist (or ENT) can be a good start if you are in a rural area, and don’t have access to specialists.
  • To learn more about any given doctor, in the resulting list click on the doctor's name. This will bring up a new screen giving the address and phone number of the doctor, his specialties and his education/training record.
  • Finally, contact the doctor that interests you the most or is at a convenient location to you. Your primary care physician can help recommend an ENT physician for your child.
  • Note: This website only lists doctors that are members of the AAO-HNS. Some may be osteopathic physicians “D.O.” who have their own organization.

Therapists

An aural rehabilitation therapist could be an audiologist, a speech-language pathologist, or a teacher of the deaf.  However, just like many ENTs do not focus on the ear, many of these professionals do not have the training and/or experience they need to teach your child to develop spoken language though listening. Please take a few minutes to read, “How to Know if You and Your Child has a Qualified Auditory-based Therapist.”  Then use the links below to begin your search.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Click here to locate Speech-Language Pathologists who have completed 1) a Masters’ Degree, 2) a Clinical Fellowship Year, and 3) their Certificate of Clinical Competence.

For Early Intervention - One option is to use the CDHHE Network, a collaboration of the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf. Two of our Hear Indiana providers are enrolled under the CDHHE Network. For more informarion, click here

If you child has turned three, you'll want to contact your Local Education Agency. In order to get a Speech-Language Pathologist, Deaf Educator, or other provider from the local school district, you'll need to request an evaluation for eligibility as deaf or hard of hearing from your Special Education Office (often located in a Co-op building). To find the special education director in your area, click here. The school district has 50 instructional days to complete the evaluation, so don't wait... After the evaluation, you are entitled to a copy of the evaluation results prior to your first case conference. At the first case conference, you and the team will determine eligibility and appropriate services. In Hear Indiana's opinion, any degree of hearing loss is educationally significant. Please see our advocacy section for more information.

Audiologists

Click here to locate Audiologists who have completed 1) their doctorate degree (AUD), 2) a Clinical Fellowship Year, and 3) their Certificate of Clinical Competence.

For Early Intervention - You will need to find an audiologist with experience working with young children. If you have an infant or toddler, the list of providers who have appropriate equipment to evaluate and fit this population is even smaller. Please click on this document of Level One Audiology Providers. Level One facilities have the recommended equipment to provide comprehensive diagnostic audiology services for newborns and young children to determine hearing status.

Contact your insurance company or Medicaid to determine who you can see under your plan. To find an audiologist who accepts First Steps, visit the Matrix page. Then select “Availability Only” and complete the information to search for audiologist in your area.

Deaf Educators

If your child is not yet three, First Steps should work with you to find a provider from the Statewide Referral Network for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (SRNDHH). If your child has turned three, you'll want to contact your Local Education Agency. See information under Speech-Language Pathologist above. You will want to talk candidly with the Deaf Educator in your area about his/her training and experience in working with children who listen and speak. Some professionals are trained to teach children sign language, whereas others are trained in teaching spoken language.

For example, the focus of the Deaf Education program at Ball State University in Indiana is to train providers in working with children who use sign language. According to the Ball State website: "In this unique program, you are immersed in deaf culture and gain hands-on experience working with children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing. You practice American Sign Language (ASL) with deaf individuals, gain classroom and teaching experience, and have a variety of educational and social experiences with children and adults who are deaf." At this time, fewer than 20% of all Deaf Education graduate programs in the US focus on spoken language training.