What is auditory training?
Even a mild hearing loss can create changes in the brain. This means that one may lose the tools necessary to process and comprehend speech. Auditory training helps to target this change at the level of the brain. By “exercising” these skills, you can rebuild the neural pathways that were weakened to improve your understanding. It’s like physical therapy for the brain!
Even the most state-of-the-art hearing aids can’t always solve all hearing difficulties on their own. To help “keep up” during noisy situations, conversations, and while watching TV, our patients have found that short-term auditory training has added to the benefits of hearing aids and has significantly improved overall communication. Research shows that individuals who participate in auditory training programs report higher satisfaction with their hearing aids, improved problem-solving in difficult listening situations, overall improved quality of life, and required less troubleshooting visits with their audiologist.
The professionals at Speech & Hearing Associates provide an individualized program of strategies and exercises to retrain the brain and make communication successful and enjoyable; we work on skills that are patient and family-centered.
Is auditory training right for me?
If you experience any of the following, auditory training may be right for you:
• Do you hear but not “understand?”
• Do you say “huh” or “what?”
• Do you struggle to remember what someone just said to you?
• Do you have trouble “keeping up” or think others talk too fast?
How will I benefit from auditory training?
Through auditory training programs and rehabilitation, we set goals and teach compensatory strategies to:
• Understand and manage your hearing loss
• Increase the ability to process, understand, and recall rapid speech
• Improve speech understanding in noise or other challenging listening environments
• Learn or improve lip-reading skills
• Assess difficult listening situations and modify environments for better communication
• Develop strategies with family members to make communication easier
• Educate others about your hearing loss and listening needs
How do I get started?
Auditory training involves collaboration between the audiologist and speech-language pathologist. First, contact us to discuss your hearing challenges with your audiologist who will determine if you are an appropriate candidate for auditory training. Then we will schedule an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist.
During the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will assess a variety of skills including listening in quiet and in noise, discrimination, auditory attention, and short term memory as well as discuss the impact of your hearing loss in various aspects of your life. At the end of the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will interpret the results to create an individualized plan of care to meet your listening needs.
SHA offers both individual and group auditory training. In our group, A Time To Listen And Connect, individuals will learn to understand hearing loss, the impact of masks and social distancing, how to advocate for oneself, and use compensatory and repair strategies to help make communication successful. Our sessions include learning lipreading skills and teaching how smartphone apps, alerting devices and technology can also help individuals with hearing difficulties.
The pandemic has created new challenges for people with hearing loss. We feel it’s important now, more than ever, to understand hearing loss, the impact of masks and social distancing, how to advocate for oneself, and use compensatory and repair strategies to help make communication successful. Our sessions include learning lipreading skills and teaching how smartphone apps, alerting devices and technology can also help individuals with hearing difficulties navigate through the pandemic and beyond.
The virtual group is conducted weekly for an hour and takes place over five consecutive weeks using a user-friendly virtual platform (Google Meet). It is facilitated by both an audiologist and speech-language pathologist (SLP), who have specialized knowledge in the areas of hearing loss and its impact on communication. Groups are formed based on similar types of hearing loss and needs, with a maximum of four to five participants per group.
If you are interested, we will schedule an initial evaluation with the speech-language pathologist. The speech-language pathologist will meet with you to assess the impact of your hearing on communication and will create individualized goals for the group program. The evaluation can be conducted in-person or virtually and takes about an hour to complete. If you are interested, but concerned about using video conferencing, we can schedule a 15-minute training with you to become familiar with the platform.
We are in-network with Medicare and most insurance plans. This program’s sessions are a covered Medicare benefit and also covered by most insurance plans.
Participating in the group is a great way to connect with other hearing-impaired individuals with similar challenges and experiences from the comfort of your own home. The sessions are informative, interactive, and fun!