Interdisciplinary FACES Program Helps Children Succeed

The FACES (Family, Audiology, Counseling, Education, Speech/Language) program is one of the most unique services offered at the Hearing and Speech Center. It is partially funded by the Claire Giannini Fund, and is a free interdepartmental collaboration to ensure that every child, and their family, receives comprehensive care to fit their needs. Services may include hearing aids, speech therapy, counseling, educational support, and more.

“When working with pediatric patients, everything is multifaceted,” pediatric audiologist Kylie McLaughlin said. “Staff is working not just with the child, but with their families, and thus everyone’s needs and concerns should be addressed. Childhood hearing loss is different from adult onset hearing loss because with kids we have to consider speech and language development, academic transitions and challenges, and social impacts. Therefore, there is a need for multiple departments to be involved because pediatrics is so complex.”

When a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, it can be difficult for many parents to navigate options for their child. Our Clinical Social Worker, Barbara Bell, provides families with coping skills and other resources to help them emotionally.
Our pediatric audiologists work directly with the Director of Education & Social Services, Shannon Simonson, to advocate for accommodations at school, such as classroom support, IEPs (Individualized Education Plans), and other services. In keeping with our mission to provide lifelong care, our staff follows up with the parents, teachers, and schools to make sure each child continues to get the essential support to succeed academically.

Without a sense of community, many children and teenagers diagnosed with hearing loss feel different, lonely, and isolated. Counselors and audiologists will often refer families to the Listen Up and Future Links programs, organized by our Children, Youth, and Families Program Manager, Steven Lopez. These programs are designed for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, teens, and families to receive academic support and provide opportunities for families to get to know each other, have fun, and build community.

The Hearing and Speech Center provides holistic and affordable care to all of our patients. We know that each person that walks through our doors has a unique story, and that no two communication challenge is the same. The children in our FACES program have bright futures, and our staff comes together from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets to do everything we can to ensure all of our young clients have the best lives possible.

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