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Chattering Children Project for At-risk Children with Hearing Loss in DC

Chattering Children has an exciting opportunity to be listed on GlobalGiving’s crowdfunding platform to raise funds for a project for children with hearing loss in DC who are at-risk of not receiving timely diagnostics and interventions. Members of our community know how important it is for children with hearing loss and the families to receive support and intervention so they can thrive. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/helping-children-with-hearing-loss/

We need you to help us spread the word!

Our crowdfunding campaign will take place March 12-30. We are required to raise $5,000 from 40 donors to earn a permanent spot on GlobalGiving. This will be a big boost to Chattering Children’s efforts, getting our cause out to many more potential donors across the country and around the world. It will help us make a difference in the lives of many more children.

Here’s how we need you to help:

1. Like the Chattering Children Facebook page (doing this now is helpful).
2. Share our Facebook posts about the project on YOUR Facebook page.
3. Email the link to Chattering Children’s GlobalGiving project to your family, friends, colleagues and anyone who you think might be able to support our project.
4. Tell us your child’s success story so we can add it to our GlobalGiving campaign. Email Jen Lynch at Chattering Children to find out how.
5. Make a gift of $10 or more starting March 12 and help us reach 40 donors and $5,000 by March 30.

Shop on Etsy and Support Chattering Children
You will find fun t-shirts and other items at TiedToHome an Etsy shop run by a parent of two Chattering Children clients. A portion of the proceeds is donated to Chattering Children.
CI Life | Cochlear Implant | Audiologist | Mapping T-shirt

Audiology 101: Interpreting Your Child’s Audiogram
Understanding your child’s audiogram can be an overwhelming task, and sometimes, once you’re back home you realize that there were more questions you wish you had asked your child’s audiologist. With the information below, you can better understand your child’s audiogram.

Types of Hearing Loss:
Conductive Hearing Loss –  Conductive hearing loss is caused by malformation of the outer or middle ear, making it difficult for sound to travel to the inner ear and auditory nerve. This can be permanent (e.g. atresia) or temporary (e.g. ear infection).

Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Sensorineural hearing losses are caused by problems in the inner ear (cochlea) or with the auditory nerve. In these cases sounds can travel through the outer and middle ear but have difficulty reaching the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is likely permanent.

Mixed Hearing Loss –  If a child has components of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss this is called mixed hearing loss. One common example of mixed hearing loss is a child with sensorineural hearing loss who also has middle ear fluid (ear infection).

The Speech Banana:Untitled
The Speech Banana is a term used to describe the area on an audiogram where the sounds of speech appear. When the speech sounds are plotted out on the audiogram they take the shape of a banana. While many other environmental sounds (e.g. dog barking, airplanes, lawn mower, etc.) fall outside of the speech banana, audiologist are most concerned with the frequencies within the speech banana because a hearing loss in that region can affect a child’s ability to learn language. For optimal listening, your child’s hearing should be above the speech banana with amplification.


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!