Started in 1986, in Mumbai, AURED focuses on habilitation of children with hearing impairment, through therapy sessions. This broadly involves the following steps:
a. Evaluation of each child to confirm and determine the extent of hearing loss, assess residual hearing and parental counseling.
b. Fitting of hearing aids or cochlear implants based on extensive scientific testing along with resident as well as visiting professionals.
c. Devising and carrying out a tailor made therapy plan for the child, which would involve the parents as well as the child.
d. In certain cases and after necessary audiological assessments, the child is recommended for cochlear implant. AURED uses the same Auditory Verbal Approach to work with the recipients of the implant to communicate effectively with these implants.
In its efforts of pursuing its initiatives of dealing with hearing impairment, AURED in association with Akansha Foundation, recently conducted a pilot test of conducting audiological testing of preschool and school going children. The test was conducted at Abhudaya Nagar Mumbai Public School in Kalachowkie, Mumbai. This would essentially help in preventing children with hearing disabilities being labeled as children with learning disabilities, by early detection and intervention of hearing disabilities in children. Once diagnosed, parents could be suitably advised, thus preventing futher damage, which if left undetected can cause more damage.The response of this pilot test was positive, with 109 children being tested.The principals and teachers of the participating schools were keen that all the primary children be tested. Out of the 109 children who were tested, it was found that 56 children needed intervention- which is almost 50% of those tested!
AURED, is following up with the municipal social worker and class teacher, to take the necessary actions based on the outcome of this test.The figure is alarming and gives a stark picture of the situation and the urgency to handle a scenario of this nature.There is a serious requirement of training teachers,and parents to recognise hearing problems so that effective steps can be taken to shape these children’s future.