Living Well and My World
Explore the tools
First, we suggest that you take some time to explore and familiarize yourself with the My World and Living Well tools on the Ida Institute website.
Tweens and teens vary greatly in their level of maturity. This is why being flexible with the tools and even incorporating aspects from both of the tools can enhance sessions.
Advantages of My World
Advantages of Living Well
Be flexible and listen
By taking the time to find out what is most significant to them, you can help them increase their self-advocacy and take another step forward to living well with their hearing loss.
The key is for you to be flexible. With teens, it is difficult to predict how the session may go. The most important impact that you as a professional can have is to take the time to listen.
Suggestions and guidance
Age and maturity of the student
When deciding what tool to use, one of the considerations is not just the age of the student but also their maturity level.
The younger a young person acts, the more likely the My World Tool will be the tool of choice. As the student begins to face more challenges in his or her social life, the Living Well Tool can be more helpful.
The combination of the two tools seems to work best with the "crossover" age group between tweens and teens.
Goals for the session
As the professional, think about what your main goal for the session is. This will help you decide which tool to use. You may choose to use only one tool or a combination of the two. It is beneficial to have both tools available and remain flexible.
Using Living Well
Using My World
We see children on an ongoing basis to assess their hearing and amplification. Consider using these tools as part of ongoing counseling to monitor their social and emotional hearing loss needs.
Consider using the provided documentation forms with each tool to monitor progress. Take a digital picture of the finished layout to compare over time. Ask questions such as "last time you told me how difficult it is to hear the TV. We talked about a few strategies such as closed captioning and streaming. Have you tried these strategies?"
Parents (especially if they do not have hearing loss) may not fully understand the hearing and listening difficulties that their child experiences on a daily basis. You may want to video the session or have the parent observe from a remote location. Reviewing the session as a "team" can provide valuable insight to the parents and help them support self-advocacy.
In the case study below, an audiologist from the United States shares her experience with using both the Living Well and the My World tools with a 14-year-old teenager (here called Ann). The case study shows how the sessions helped Ann devise her own strategies and take ownership of her hearing loss.
This student really liked the opportunity to sit down and talk about what is important to her and how her hearing loss impacts her in different situations. Both of these tools served to first find out more about Ann and second, come up with solutions that she herself was involved with (taking ownership which promotes carry over/usage).
Using these two tools together helped promote advocacy goals for hearing loss in a positive light - an important skill for teens and tweens to develop in order to be successful after high school.