The My World tool can help you better understand what communication strategies the child is currently using and how effectively they are able to cope with different situations. This knowledge can also benefit other professionals involved in the management of the child's hearing loss.
Below is a guide that answers some of the most important questions about how the My World tool can be used to foster a multidisciplinary intervention to benefit the child.
Who would benefit from using My World in a multidisciplinary way?
- Clinical audiologists, educational audiologists, teachers of the deaf, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, parents of hearing impaired children, social workers, health visitors, community pediatricians.
Why should professionals other than audiologists use My World?
- Learning to listen to the child's viewpoint can make everyone's work more effective.
- It can help to eliminate guesswork about the functional benefit of audiological interventions and save time in appointments and follow-up.
- It provides assurance about the benefit of current provision or impetus and direction for change.
How can professionals use the tool in a multidisciplinary way?
- Decide who coordinates the sharing of information. Perhaps the key worker should acquire this role?
- Decide what information is important to convey:
- Ratings (happy/sad face)
- Environments the child has described
- Important people in different processes
- Any immediate action plans needed and by whom
- Decide the vehicle for sharing the information: Online groups, case meetings, paper document sharing
- Decide what permissions will be needed
- Decide how to secure confidentiality to meet any existing policy
When and under what circumstances should My World be used?
- Annual reviews
- Hearing aid reviews
- Cochlear implant or other implant candidacy assessments
- Periodic educational assessments
Two Case Studies
1. Ten year old girl with mild/moderate progressive bilateral SNHL
She used the My World classroom to depict a 'typical Tuesday'. This term was chosen by the child in response to the audiologist asking her to talk about a typical day, as attempts at answering open-ended questions were too broad.
After the child finished, the mother was asked if she learned anything new. She had not, except for the very simple fact that she assumed the radio aid was checked on a daily basis. Clearly, however, it was not, and the child was unable to manage that task.
Together with the speech language therapist and the educational psychologist, the feedback from the day included a good deal of information about what this child was capable of and a wide variety of options for parents to explore - one of these being the daily check of the radio aid.
2. Five year old boy with unilateral microtia/atresia and conductive-only hearing loss
The parents were chiefly concerned with confirming ear specific information, ensuring that this child was not experiencing communication difficulties, and figuring out how to approach future potential issues of self-image.
The child enjoyed using the My World tool to talk about play activities at home, school, and outdoors. He confirmed through the discussion that he did not recognize any problems at present with his hearing. Using the tool also allowed him to relax with the assessment and accept headphones for the first time.
The report included information for the parent to take back to the hospital audiologist, including the opportunity to consider various hearing aid options if so desired. It also included information as to what to look for together with teachers in monitoring communication and acoustics at school and suggestions for making connections with other parents of children with similar types of hearing loss.