Our team’s expertise in pediatric audiology enables us to carefully evaluate children's hearing abilities and ensure that any hearing loss is detected early and appropriate interventions are taken.

Hearing Heroes: Supporting Children With Hearing Loss Every Step of the Way

by | Apr 22, 2023 | Patient Resources, Pediatric

For children dealing with hearing loss, navigating the world can be a challenge. Hearing loss in children can affect their communication, social skills, and overall cognitive development. And as a parent, learning that your child has failed their hearing screening can make you feel stressed and anxious.

Thanks to the dedication of hearing professionals like our team at Audiological Services, children with hearing loss can be supported to overcome their condition and thrive. Our team’s expertise in pediatric audiology enables us to carefully evaluate children’s hearing abilities and ensure that any hearing loss is detected early and appropriate interventions are taken.

Our team is committed to making sure your child receives the absolute best care, support, and encouragement throughout every step of their hearing journey.

What Causes Hearing Loss in Children?

Hearing loss in children is typically caused by one of these factors:

Otitis Media:
This is related to inflammation of the middle ear and is the most common cause of hearing loss in children. Otitis media may be treated using tubes to help with draining the fluid that builds up when the Eustachian tubes are blocked. Otitis media should always be treated as quickly as possible to avoid permanent hearing damage.
Congenital Hearing Loss:
This is a condition that develops in the womb and causes children to be born with hearing loss. Around half of all cases of congenital hearing loss are inherited.
Acquired Hearing Loss:
This condition develops after birth, and it can be caused by recurring ear infections, some illnesses, and frequent exposure to loud noises. By taking the necessary precautions, you can prevent most cases of acquired hearing loss.

How Can You Protect Your Child’s Hearing?

When it comes to hearing loss, prevention is key. Never let ear infections go untreated. If your child is fighting an ear infection, you should seek the guidance of a medical professional right away. Ear infections that are left untreated can lead to hearing loss and more serious conditions.

If your child is involved in swimming or other water sports, make sure they wear ear protection to avoid swimmer’s ear and infections.

Ear protection should always be worn around loud noises like fireworks, and the volume on headphones should be kept at safe levels.

Early Detection: The Power of Screening

The journey of a child with hearing loss begins with early detection and diagnosis. Newborns undergo hearing screenings, and there’s actually been a recent rise in the number of newborns failing their screenings.

If you’re in East Texas and have a newborn who’s failed their hearing screening, you’ve likely been told you need to drive all the way to Houston for an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test. At Audiological Services, we think that’s unreasonable. We’ve partnered with the Texas Hearing Institute to offer ABR tests using tele-audiology—ensuring your baby receives quick and thorough care regardless of insurance.

Our practice offers hearing assessments for children of all ages. Our goal is to detect any hearing loss early on so we can intervene as necessary. If your child is experiencing hearing loss, we’ll help to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for the long term.

child's hearing assessment

Treating Hearing Loss in Children

Each child with hearing loss is unique and requires an individualized treatment plan. It’s important to create a comprehensive plan that will allow your child to develop and thrive despite their condition. Through ongoing hearing evaluations, we can ensure that the treatment plan evolves as your child grows and develops.

Some ways we treat hearing loss in children include hearing aids, cochlear implants, or auditory-verbal therapy. At Audiological Services, we understand that hearing loss doesn’t only impact the child—it affects the whole family. We embrace a family-focused care approach to provide support, guidance, and resources to navigate the challenges of hearing loss together.

Educational and Emotional Advocacy for Children With Hearing Loss

For children with hearing loss, building communication and language skills is a pivotal milestone. Specialized guidance and therapy may be needed to encourage language development. Techniques like auditory training and speech therapy can be effective in promoting communication strategies in children with hearing loss.

Advocates within educational settings are important for creating inclusive environments for children with hearing loss. Children may face emotional challenges and social barriers as a result of their condition. Hearing professionals often collaborate with teachers and school administrators to implement assistive technologies and empower children to fully participate in classroom activities and reach their full academic potential.

Counseling, support groups, and social skills training can be valuable tools to foster self-confidence and a sense of belonging in children with hearing loss and empower them in their journeys to fulfilling and successful futures.

Helping Your Child Become a Hearing Hero

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and communicate confidently. Our dedicated team is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate support, ensuring that no child or parent feels alone on this path. With our expertise and personalized approach, we will guide you through the process, offering the best solutions for your child’s unique needs.

From early intervention strategies to state-of-the-art technology, we’ll empower you and your child to overcome any obstacles and embrace a world full of sounds. Your child’s well-being and happiness are at the heart of what we do. We’ll work closely with you to create a nurturing environment where your child can flourish, building their communication skills and self-confidence along the way.

Join us on this journey and let us help you and your child become hearing heroes. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a brighter future filled with the beautiful sounds of laughter and joy. Schedule a pediatric hearing assessment today.

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Gabrielle Tabb Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Tabb received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders in 2016 from Texas State University. Following this, she attended the University of North Texas where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2020 with her Doctorate in Audiology. While in graduate school, Dr. Tabb had various clinical rotations in the DFW area, including UT Southwestern Medical Center, Bonham VA, multiple ENT locations, educational audiology, and several private practices. She completed her externship at OU Physicians Department of Head and Neck Surgery, rotating through the adult and pediatric clinics. Following her externship, she worked as an audiologist primarily in the OU Children’s Physicians location where she was able to serve medically complex children of all ages. Originally from South Texas, she is overjoyed to be able to serve her fellow Texans once again. Dr. Tabb is licensed to practice audiology in the State of Texas. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-A) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a member of Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA). She is passionate about providing the upmost hearing healthcare to people of all ages. She enjoys opening a world of sound to children who are in a crucial stage of speech-language development and adults who believed themselves to be relegated to a life of “social distance” and isolation because of their hearing loss. Dr. Tabb is dedicated to educating patients and their families about the effects of untreated hearing loss on social/emotional health, mental health, and communication. When she is not working, she enjoys playing with her dogs (Winston and Duke), spending time with her husband and family, gardening, cooking, watching movies, and reading.