Free new course presents an evolution in pediatric hearing care: Child-centered care

By Clint McLean

Let's face it; despite best intentions, children often take a back seat in their hearing care appointments. Even the most dedicated person-centered and family-centered practitioners often struggle to sufficiently involve their young clients in their care. After all, person-centered care tends to focus on adults, and family-centered care on parents, despite its name implying otherwise.

Fortunately, our newest online course, Child-Centered Care, can help. It explains what happens developmentally as children age, techniques for communicating with pediatric clients, and which Ida tools will make the communication more fun and effective. The free course guides hearing care professionals in having children contribute in ways appropriate for their ages and abilities, to make them a meaningful part of their care. 

Led by Kris English — Professor Emeritus in Audiology at the University of Akron and a beacon in pediatric audiology and counseling — the four-part course is essential viewing for clinicians not familiar with things such as child-centered care, Theory of Mind, narrative play, and how to best support development while treating and counseling children with hearing loss. 

Ida's Managing Director, Lise Lotte Bundesen, says, “Child-centered care shares its history and some principles with person-centered care and family-centered care, but its emphasis is squarely on improving the hearing care experience and outcomes for children. It’s an evolution of children’s healthcare. This course helps clinicians recognize where children are developmentally and give them agency in their care.” 

Child-centered care embodies the Rights of a Child as recognized by the United Nations. The rights state that children should be listened to, supported in expressing their views, and involved— and have power— in the decision-making process. 

Because children deserve to participate in care that affects them. And because, as English says in the course, “What they think and feel matters to us.”

Child-Centered Care is available for free in the Ida Learning Hall and is accredited by several organizations including the American Academy of Audiology, the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, the Canadian Academy of Audiology, and Audiology Australia.

What you will learn

Theory of Mind and narrative play

Growing up with hearing loss can interfere with language development and the ability to explain and understand other people’s thoughts and feelings. The cognitive skill used to understand people's thoughts and feelings is called Theory of Mind. You'll learn how to support Theory of Mind in your clients with narrative play and the My World pediatric tool.

Ida pediatric tools

Learn to use pediatric tools developed by global experts to understand your young clients better, encourage their participation in their care, and nurture skills like self-determination, decision-making, and strategizing. The tools create an environment that puts children in the driver's seat and lets them communicate in ways they are comfortable with.

The featured tools are: My World, My Hearing Explained for Children, Living Well for Tweens, and The People I Talk to for Teens.


Without direct support, children with hearing loss are at risk of delay in developing as self-determined individuals. Learn to provide support and guidance with tools specifically designed to help children understand their hearing loss and explain it to others, and to develop competency and autonomy by helping them identify problems and solutions.

Adolescent Separation-Individuation

As young clients approach adulthood, pediatric hearing care gradually evolves from family- and child-centered care to a person-centered care model. Hearing care professionals can support this transition by helping young people increase their independence in ways consistent with the developmental stage of Separation-Individuation.

And much more

The course is packed with insights from English as well as the research and evidence she uses to support her teachings. Beyond the main learning outcomes, you’ll find ideas, phrases, and anecdotes that will make you view pediatric appointments in a whole new light.

To view this course and discover how to better support your pediatric clients, visit the Ida Learning Hall (signup required). Or read more about the Ida Learning Hall here.