Do you set your clients up for success by giving them tools to practice their listening skills? Learn more about why online tools, like the ones in HearingSuccess.com, can help your clients.
A common misconception people have is that wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants is just like wearing glasses. Put them on and you hear clearly. As hearing care professionals, we know that this is just not the case. We understand the importance of training the brain to hear better.
I find offering a marathon analogy particularly helpful when explaining the importance of training. Most people would never consider running a marathon without any training to go the distance. It is the same with training the brain to hear.
When people first get hearing technology, training is needed to help make sense of new sounds. This type of training in aural rehabilitation is often referred to as auditory skills training.
Auditory skills training (AST) is the process of improving hearing skills through structured, repetitive listening exercises. It uses active listening exercises to train the brain to interpret sounds in order to understand spoken language.
How online AST tools can benefit your clients
When auditory skills training is offered via online and digital tools, it allows people to practice their hearing skills independently – when and where it is convenient. Three benefits of this self-directed delivery model of AST are:
- People have unlimited opportunities to ‘train their brain’ after getting new hearing technology and can start right away.
- Self-directed learning has the benefit of improving confidence, ownership and better outcomes.1,2
- People who live alone and don’t have communication partners readily available can actively practice their listening skills at home.
In the World Report on Hearing, the World Health Organization states that “auditory training helps people to better use hearing in all situations.”
That’s because repetitive listening practice can help your clients make sense of the sounds they hear outside of your office and improve their everyday communication skills. An easy way to support this is to recommend the online AST training tools in the HearingSuccess portal at hearingsuccess.com.
Online AST tools in HearingSuccess.com
In the portal, two of the auditory skills training resources are specifically designed to help your clients practice everyday communication:
- WordSuccess is a mobile app available for iOS and Android that works on the ability to hear the differences in words and phrases using live or recorded voice.
Benefits include a built-in placement test to guide and recommend practice lessons, listening practice in quiet or noise and a dashboard to compare and track scores.
- SoundSuccess is an interactive online functional listening training program. What’s unique is that the program offers options for video and audio for speech reading and listening or listening alone.
The listener can add different levels of noise and choose from six different speakers. It provides practice listening to phrases, sentences, paragraphs, stories and conversations related to things you do every day.
The benefits include building confidence in using hearing technology, understanding different speakers, and listening in noisy environments.
These online AST tools offer a flexible, easy way for your clients to access structured practice exercises.
How offering AST can help your clients achieve their personal best
The importance of rehabilitation was captured by Dr. Howard Rusk in his autobiography, A World to Care For, when he stated,
“…once a person overcomes a disability through his own courage, determination and hard work, he has a depth of spirit you and I know little about… [this] is a branch of medicine in which the patient has more power than the doctor in setting the limits and possibilities…”
When I read this, I think of all the incredible people I have met through the years who have never let hearing loss slow them down in life. This quote is enlightening because it reminds us that the person with hearing loss – not their doctor, audiologist or therapist – can have the greatest impact.
In other words, the people you fit with hearing technology have the ultimate power and ability to achieve their personal best. They just need to be given the tools.
Register as a professional at HearingSuccess.com and view all the AST tools and resources available to your clients.
- Malmberg, M., Lunner, T., Kähäri K, & Andersson, G. (2017). Evaluating the short-term and long-term effects of an internet-based aural rehabilitation programme for hearing aid users in general clinical practice: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 7(5): e013047.
- Cullington, H., Kitterick, P., DeBold, L., Weal, M., Clarke, N., Newberry, E., & Aubert, L. (2016). Personalised long-term follow-up of cochlear implant clients using remote care, compared with those on the standard care pathway: study protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 6(5).
To learn more about the benefits of auditory skills training, we invite you to read a previous blog article, Auditory skills training can be done anytime, anywhere.