Pediatric audiology at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital manages hundreds of children with hearing loss, ranging in age from infancy to young adulthood. For children with permanent hearing loss, part of our role is to select, program and fit appropriate hearing aids, as well as to make recommendations for other educational and support services that may be required. We typically work with insurance companies to obtain hearing aids, but there are constraints in terms of timing and model of hearing aids that are imposed on us. Also, when hearing aids are lost or broken, there can be delays in getting repaired or replacement hearing aids for children. And, when the aids are no longer within the warranty period, we may be unable to have the aids repaired or replaced in a timely fashion.
The Pediatric Audiology Hearing Aid and Assistive Devices Loaner Program provides children with long-term loaners devices when insurance companies do not cover the appropriate technology. The devices are also used as short-term replacements when a device is damaged or new technology is needed, and insurance negotiation is required, so a child’s ability to hear doesn’t lapse. Finally, the devices are used to demonstrate the difference that appropriate hearing aids can make in a child’s life when parents, or in some cases schools, are reluctant to set aside significant resources for this equipment.
These are their stories: