New Ida pediatric resources extend person-centered care to children

By Helle Gjønnes Møller

To further enhance our pediatric offering, Ida is now introducing two new resources: My Hearing Explained for Children and an upgraded version of the university course module, Extending Person-Centered Care to Families and Children.

Child-centered care

Increasingly, children’s voices and positions are being recognized in society. In healthcare, this trend has brought the emergence of child-centered care (CCC) – an approach that acknowledges children and young people as sovereign beings and promotes their right to be involved in their own care. CCC has the potential to complement or extend traditional family-centered care (FCC) by placing children in a more prominent and central position and making them the expert in their own life.

Ida’s new pediatric resources underpin this approach and add a specific focus on the unique needs, preferences, and challenges of children and young people with hearing loss. “The child-centered approach is about giving a personalized experience to the child; knowing each child well, and giving them a voice and choice in their hearing care,” says Natalie Comas, Speech-Language Pathologist and Project and Training Specialist at the Ida Institute.

My Hearing Explained for Children

The pediatric tool My Hearing Explained for Children was developed to help translate hearing test results into language that is easy to understand – using logical, intuitive visuals to stimulate conversations about hearing. The tool is based on an adult version entitled My Hearing Explained, which has now been tailored to meet the specific needs of children and young people. To convert the adult version into a pediatric tool, Ida collaborated with a global group of hearing care professionals and psychologists – and the tool was then tested by a panel of pediatric practitioners. 

Silva Kuschke, who is Chief Audiologist at The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Africa, was part of the test panel. Kuschke says: “We as audiologists often rely heavily on the audiogram as a counseling tool for hearing loss – but we know that it doesn’t really give us any information about functional listening experiences. With My Hearing Explained for Children, a conversation can be held with the child to draw on personal experiences, challenges, and also to make plans together with the audiologist for a better hearing experience in a child- and family-centered way. The tool empowers children to have a voice and to be a part of their own management plan.”

My Hearing Explained for Children supplements Ida’s existing pediatric portfolio, including the tools Living Well for Teens and Tweens, My World, My Turn to Talk for Parents, Telecare for Teens and Tweens, and Growing up with Hearing Loss.

New University Course module 

Another new pediatric resource from the Ida Institute is the updated University Course module Extending Person-Centered Care to Families and Children. This material was developed in collaboration with Kris English, Professor Emeritus in Audiology at the University of Akron, to enhance the quality of education and research in pediatric speech and hearing rehabilitation. The course material explores the overarching question of what it means to be person-centered in pediatrics and investigates the role of the hearing care professional.

English says: “This module was designed with three goals in mind: to relate the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child to child-centered hearing care, to integrate child development concepts into pediatric hearing care practices, and to encourage the aspiring pediatric hearing care provider to take every opportunity to support their clients’ development as persons. To these ends, students will acquire experience not only in how to use relevant Ida counseling tools, but even more importantly, why.”

The new module feeds into the full Ida Institute university course, which aims to support lecturers and supervisors as they prepare students to work with individuals and families with hearing loss. The course provides tools and methods that encourage reflective practice and support the development of new abilities and attitudes toward clinical practice. Throughout the course, role-playing and classroom discussions are used to provide context for the material.

The university course module Extending Person-Centered Care to Families and Children will be complemented by a Learning Hall module in early 2021.