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Department of Audiology
134 Thurbers Avenue
Suite 215
Providence, RI 02905
P: (401) 453-7751


Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; evening appointments available on the last Tuesday of every month.

No Show Policy

We have a policy for missed appointments at all Women & Infants' physician practices. If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice. Learn More

School Children with Hearing Loss

When a child with hearing loss goes to school, he or she is entering an environment filled with many different types of noise. Like anyone, a student with hearing loss has more trouble hearing and understanding speech in noisy situations than in quiet situations. However, when listening through hearing aids or cochlear implants, noise often becomes much more magnified than it is for individuals with normal hearing, interfering to a much greater degree with the ability to hear and understand speech.

The teacher’s voice and the voices of fellow students, may be difficult or impossible for the hearing impaired student to hear properly. The hearing impaired student may need to work harder than his or her peers just to hear what is going on, something normally-hearing students are able to do effortlessly. Compounding this problem, most classrooms and schools are not designed with hearing impaired students in mind. Classrooms may have very high ceilings, loosely fitting windows or doors, highly reflective wall or floor surfaces, or other features that magnify room noise and minimize speech clarity. Some classrooms utilize an “open” floor plan which allows noise from the hallway or other areas to easily enter into the classroom.

Interaction with Teachers and Students

Successful communication between the teacher and student is vital to the learning process. Even the best teachers often have limited training and experience working with students with hearing loss. While they may recognize that a hearing impaired student has special needs, they may not know exactly what these needs are or how to go about getting them into the classroom.

School is not only a place of academic learning, but also a major site of social development. The school day is spent interacting with fellow students inside and outside of the classroom, making friendships that may last a lifetime. For a hearing impaired student, these social interactions may be difficult or even impossible, limiting the social growth that is such an important part of the school experience.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Some children may have “normal hearing” but still seem to struggle with auditory information. They may be viewed as hyperactive, uncooperative, or as having poor attention. In some cases these children may actually have an auditory processing disorder (APD). APD is a condition wherein the child hears sounds perfectly fine, can hear and understand speech normally, but their auditory system struggles under certain, more taxing conditions. Some children with APD struggle more than typical kids in noisy settings, or they may have trouble following complicated, multi-step directions. APD can be effectively managed but first has to be recognized and properly diagnosed.

The Educational Audiology Program

The Educational Audiology Program at Women & Infants Hospital is geared towards meeting the needs of children with hearing loss in school. Working collaboratively with the student, his or her parents, the school staff, and the school department, we find solutions for these problems that are both effective for the student and affordable for the school. We recognize that a school operates on a budget and we make sure that our recommendations are justified and reasonably-priced and that the benefits to the child are verifiable. Our services include:

  • IEP participation.
  • Acoustic room analysis.
  • FM system management.
  • On-site hearing aid services.
  • School musician’s program.
  • Training and in-service for teachers and staff.
  • School hearing screenings.
  • Auditory Processing Disorder evaluation and management.

For more information, call us at (401) 453-7751.