Family-Centered care is at the heart of the USU pediatric audiology clinic. Highly qualified pediatric audiologists support parents with early and timely information and specialized expertise in evidence based practice so as to empower families to make decisions regarding their child’s hearing needs. A family-provider partnership is essential in coordinating ongoing audiological care tailored for a child’s needs and family interests.
The USU Pediatric Audiology Clinic provides services to the community as well as to the students enrolled in the Sound Beginnings program. For children who are enrolled in Sound Beginnings (birth through Kindergarten) and reside in Cache, Box Elder, or Rich Counties in Utah or in Franklin County in Idaho, routine hearing evaluations, hearing aid checks, and cochlear implant services are provided at no charge to families. For children who reside in other areas or are school-age, the Pediatric Audiology Clinic can bill most insurance companies, including Medicaid. However, no child will be denied diagnostic audiological services because of limited or no insurance coverage; a sliding fee is available.
Listening and spoken language programs require that a child’s hearing device is in good working order at all times so that children can have optimal access to the full range of speech sounds. Full-time use of appropriate amplification by every child is a priority in all Sound Beginnings programs. Children learn to speak according to the clarity of how well and how consistently they hear all speech sounds. Therefore, an important aspect of the program is the availability of an on-site pediatric audiologist to regularly partner with parents in monitoring their child’s auditory progress. It is important that the audiological care for infants, toddlers, and young children be entrusted with pediatric audiologists, because diagnosing and treating hearing loss in children requires a much different approach than that for adults. The pediatric audiologist routinely monitors each child’s hearing level and device function to ensure optimal auditory input and to assist families in the maintenance of their child’s hearing device by troubleshooting and making adjustments as appropriate.
The audiologist can assist parents in determining repairs that are needed and whether they are covered under the device manufacturer warranty. For cochlear implants, major device repairs or replacements often must be coordinated with the device manufacturer.
Parents are financially responsible for any required repairs that are not covered under warranty, as well as the purchase of new devices, earmolds, batteries, personal FM systems, parts replacements, or any similar item related technology.