Behind the Presentation: Carrie Norman
We asked Carrie Norman, M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd about her presentation at the upcoming Listening and Spoken Language Workshop Series, December 8, 2012 at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Read her thoughts about the benefits of developing a collaborative approach to educating children with hearing loss in the mainstream environment. Earn up to 6 CEUs by attending in person or online. Learn more and register now!
1. What is one question you hope gets asked during your session?
How do I facilitate better partnerships with the other members of each student’s care team?
2. Why is it important to have collaboration between services?
Without a collaborative team approach you miss out on all the rich information and expertise that each professional can bring to the table. For instance, if a private therapist is working in isolation from the school professionals, that therapist may not know the daily language demands for that student in his/her daily academic routine. If there is strong collaboration, including mutual observations and information sharing, outcomes tend to increase because each professional’s work reinforces the others. If no one on the team is communicating, then very often there is little carry-over of skills. The student lacks context and may have difficulty connecting his/her new skills acquired in one setting to another environment. In contrast, when an entire care team is functioning well, everyone on the team benefits from the collaboration, most importantly, the students and their families.
3. What will professionals without a LSLS Certification get from your session?
The information shared in this workshop will benefit anyone working with students with hearing loss. The strategies discussed will address students’ needs in a variety of educational settings. Classroom teachers will be able to recognize the strategies they are already using as well as be challenged to think about new strategies to implement in their daily routines. Auditory Impairment teachers and Speech-Language Pathologists will be able to add to their language acquisition expertise by gaining a greater understanding of informal and formal assessment tools for tracking outcomes and progress for their students’ listening and spoken language targets. All participants will be able to hear perspectives from a variety of parents and professionals about their journeys in finding the right educational “fit” for their situation.
4. What is one common concern you hear from general education teachers?
Equipment. Professionals new to working with students with hearing loss are often terrified of breaking or losing the equipment. And sometimes that fear translates into inconsistent use. They are “told” this student needs this equipment, and often are not afforded the time it takes to learn the “whats,” “whys,” and “hows”. By the time they feel comfortable using the FM system and checking the hearing aids or cochlear implants, the school year is almost over. Then a new teacher will start all over with the learning curve the next school year. I had a 3rd grade teacher tell me that she wished she had had support for the equipment checks at the beginning of every day for the first 6 weeks of school. She said that would have made her life much easier. Once the teacher understands how much benefit the student receives when they are given access to their best auditory potential, the teaching expertise takes over and teachers are able to do what they do best… teach!
5. What improvements have you seen in working with clinical and educational service providers?
The improvements are most significant in those cases where the professionals and parents are all working in collaboration and maintain a deep, mutual respect for the expertise each team member has to offer. It is amazing to watch co-teaching teams work together and gain a greater appreciation for each other’s skill sets. The communication process between clinical services and education services is greatly improved when parents and professionals both have a greater understanding of each team member’s unique contribution to the service continuum for that student. When one member’s contribution is missing, the entire care team is at a disadvantage when serving the student. When parents are valued as active team members, they are empowered to take the lead in navigating the direction the entire team takes. But I will have to say, the cases where I have seen the greatest improvements are those cases where every member on a student’s care team has partnered together to raise expectations and “set the bar high”, where no team member is satisfied with “status quo” and where everyone is working toward each next step.