As soon as a child is enrolled in the school, the child is conditioned to respond to sounds (Conditioned Audiometry) and hearing assessment is done to find out the hearing ability of the child in each ear.
The graph obtained on this testing which is called the â€™Audiogramâ€™ gives us the idea about the amount of residual hearing the child has in each ear.
Just as an optician tries out different glasses to find out which one gives a clear vision, similarly different hearing aids are tried and the best suitable hearing aid, that is, the one that enables the child to hear most of the speech sounds.
All types of digital hearing aids - trimmer based (that can be adjusted manually ) as well as programmable hearing aids (tailor made hearing aids that can be programmed on the computer) according to the requirement of the child are available for trial , of which the best suitable hearing aid is recommended.
Hearing aids are expensive instruments. Financial assistance if required is provided to the child on loan basis (interest free loan, from school if small amount is required and parents can repay in installments.)
By all means, the best suitable hearing aid is arranged for the child as early as possible. This is the first and the most important step towards habilitation/rehabilitation.
The ear moulds required for fitting the hearing aids are also arranged for, in the school itself in the Ear mould and hearing aid repair centre
Just fitting a hearing aid is not enough, the child needs to be trained to understand the sounds that he hears and make the use of his residual hearing. Thus individualized auditory training lessons are given to the child in order to tap whatever little residual hearing the child has.
Listening is a precursor to speaking, that is, â€™we speak as we hearâ€™. The hearing loss thus, also has an effect on the speech of these children. There is a delay in the speech and language development of these children. The speech clarity, intonation and voice quality is also affected. Hence, individualized speech therapy sessions are taken on regular basis. Parents are also given individualized guidance for stimulation at home.
In order to make the sessions interesting especially for the younger students from pre-primary classes, software program â€™Dr Speechâ€™ is used by therapists and teachers.
â€™Dr Speechâ€™ is a software program which gives immediate visual feedback through colorful graphic images and animation. The use of game-like exercises not only motivates the students to practice speech but also makes learning speech an enjoyable act. At present, the software is in need of up gradation.