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How Speech Pathologists Assist with Hearing Loss

Sitting in a crowded room, surrounded by the buzz of conversation but unable to fully participate, either nodding along without knowing what’s being said or remaining silent, is a reality for so many dealing with hearing loss. Over time, untreated hearing loss can contribute to cognitive decline and mental health issues.

A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) can assist people dealing with hearing loss. Specifically, a SLP could assist someone through aural rehab. This approach helps participants identify techniques and strategies to improve successful communication and is especially helpful post cochlear implantation.

Individuals with hearing loss, including hearing aid users, may also benefit from aural rehabilitation. Some specific areas of concern addressed in speech therapy treatment may include understanding conversations, listening in noise, maximizing the use of programming and technology options available with a person’s hearing technology, and communicating on the telephone.

Individuals seeking aural rehabilitation may experience minor to severe challenges in any or all of these areas. The participant, with a Speech Language Pathologist’s insights and expertise, selects goals to identify issues that will have a meaningful impact on listening and communication.

One Speech Language Pathologist who could assist is Francine Gates, MS, CCC-SLP at Southwest Health. Francine (Franci) Gates has experience as an outpatient, nursing home, and school-based speech-language pathologist during her graduate career. During this time, she has worked closely to treat and evaluate people across the lifespan, from newborns in the NICU to the elderly populations in nursing homes.

Franci has treated individuals with varying diagnoses, such as Parkinson’s, Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dementia, Down Syndrome, ADHD, hearing loss, post-stroke depression, social anxiety, and ADHD. She has experience evaluating and treating pediatric and adult populations presenting with speech, expressive and receptive language, phonological, dysphagia, fluency, cognitive, voice, and swallowing disorders.

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