Chattering Children wants you to learn about our clinicians, useful tips, projects, and opportunities for our community to support each other and children with  hearing loss.

Spotlight on our Audiologists!

Sydney Bednarz, AuD, CCC-A
Dr. Bednarz holds a BS in Communications Sciences and Disorders from St. Cloud University in Minnesota, and an AuD from Central Michigan University. She completed her externship at Boston Children’s Hospital and participated in the LEND program, an interdisciplinary training program dedicated to improve health and counseling professionals’ knowledge on working with children, adolescents, and young adults with developmental and related disabilities. Dr. Bednarz is certified through the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

She participates in the DC Early Detection and Intervention Advisory Board. Her areas of interest in audiology include: early intervention, the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program, hearing aid fittings, cochlear implant programming, and educational audiology.

Julia Reid, AuD, CCC-A
Dr. Reid holds a BA in Psychology and Communication Studies and an AuD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She participated in the OSEP Pediatric Training fellowship program, an interdisciplinary program focusing on importance of facilitating relationships among speech pathology and audiology professionals when working with the pediatric population. Dr. Reid completed her externship at the Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at UNC, where she was instilled with a passion for early intervention and cochlear implants. She is certified through the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

Be A Chattering Children Champion!
New Project: Audiology Program for At Risk Newborns and Young Children

Chattering Children wants to become a testing site for universal newborn screening follow up, as well as for young children with complex cases throughout the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. An obstacle to early intervention is limited access to diagnostic testing centers and long waits at centers that are properly equipped to test infants and children with multiple disabilities. Currently, our outdated equipment prevents us from seeing these children and expanding our reach and services.

We are raising funds to purchase the new and updated equipment. So far, we have raised $22,300 and have been able to purchase an Audioscan Verifit 2 (for programming hearing aids) and a Grason Stadler Tympstar Pro (which helps us monitor children’s ears to make sure they don’t have fluid or ear infections). The new equipment is bring installed this month!

We need to raise another $24,000 in order to obtain the additional equipment to enhance our services. We ask that members of our community contribute to this project to help the youngest children with hearing loss in the Washington DC region receive timely intervention. Donations are tax deductible–make your gift before the year end! Email Jennifer Lynch at Jlynch@chatteringchildren.org or give at ChatteringChildren.org.
Be a Chattering Children Champion TODAY!

Shop to Support Hearing Loss!
A parent of two Chattering Children clients is selling custom t-shirt and other items in support of children with hearing loss. A portion of the proceeds
will be donated to Chattering Children. Check out the cute t-shirts for children and adults!

Become an Advocate for Your Child and Educate Others
When your child has a hearing loss, it is particularly important to let others know how to help them hear best. Whether it is daycare, preschool, or a babysitter…here  are tips that would be helpful to pass on.

Tips for Caregivers:
Provide an extra listening kit so they can check batteries, change batteries, and do simple troubleshooting. Most manufacturers have a quick guide you can print out and review with your caregiver. Items to include in a listening kit:

  • Hearing Aid(s): spare batteries, battery tester, air blower, pick and brush to clean wax from ear mold, listening stethoscope, travel dry aid container
  • Cochlear Implant(s): extra batteries, device remotes/connects, spare tape, travel dry aid container.
  • BAHA: spare batteries, magnet to remove batteries, test rod, battery tester, travel dry aid container.

In addition, sometimes your child’s early intervention provider can come to your child’s daycare or preschool to do training with the teachers directly.

Tips for Education Settings
Perhaps your child’s early intervention provider can come to your child’s daycare or preschool to do training with the teachers directly.  You can also provide these tips–

Reducing noise in the classroom. Closing windows, putting tennis balls on the feet of chairs, adding rugs, hanging artwork on walls, being mindful about using music during the day.

Optimize communication. Making eye contact, gaining attention prior to speaking, ensuring listening devices  are worn and functioning properly during all waking hours.

Tips for teaching. Use of animated facial expressions and props/objects to provide visual support of target concepts, preferential seating during group times, providing parents with books and target vocabulary ahead of time so that pre-teaching and reinforcement  can happen at home.

You know your child best and you are their best advocate! Helping others understand their needs helps everyone!