May 25, 2018  

Current weather

Scattered clouds, 73.4 °F

The Children’s Center at USM Hosts Child Hearing Loss Summit

Main Content
Dr. Carol Flexer, renowned expert in the field of child hearing loss, visits with one of the clients at The Children's Center.

Now more than ever, there is exciting information to be learned in the realm of child hearing loss.

And The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi is not only taking full advantage of this wealth of information, but also helping to share this knowledge with the speech and hearing community, including professionals, pre-professionals, and families of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

On Thursday, March 1, The Children’s Center hosted its 3rd Child Hearing Loss Summit on USM’s Hattiesburg campus, and the turnout was overwhelming. Dr. Courtney Turner, educational audiologist for The Center, organized the event, which was free to attendees, and funded by the Mapp Family Foundation.

Guest speaker and renowned expert in the field of child hearing loss, Dr. Carol Flexer, talked about how exciting the world now is for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. But what exactly does it mean to be deaf or hard-of-hearing?

“What (it) really means,” said Dr. Flexer, “is that the sense of hearing – that ear doorway to the brain – is blocked, a little or a lot.”

But you can hear the excitement in Dr. Flexer’s voice as she begins to describe the possibilities for children with this affliction.

“If we identify what’s going on in that doorway, and get through the doorway, with technology, hearing aids, cochlear implants – whatever is the best way to breach that doorway, and get auditory information to the brain – then we can grow and develop a hearing brain in a child, no matter what their doorway problem is,” she said.

Dr. Flexer goes on to talk more about what exactly that means in the life of a child – gaining the ability to do those things that all children should be able to do – to learn, to listen, to talk, to read, to communicate with friends and family.

“Get through the doorway, and then enrich the brain, which is what you do here at The Center. You’re brain enrichment people,” Dr. Flexer says of The Children’s Center, “You understand the doorway, fit the technology to the doorway, and then enrich that brain with knowledge, with information – by reading aloud, by singing, and by coaching parents to have meaningful conversations with their children…which grows that brain for listening, talking, reading, learning, and making friends. It’s wonderful work that you do.”

Brain enrichment people. The highest of compliments coming from a brain enrichment expert, so to speak. Dr. Flexer’s breadth of knowledge and level of passion for her field of choice is evident within moments of hearing her speak.

Said Dr. Turner, “It has been an absolute honor to host Dr. Carol Flexer as our guest speaker this year, and The Children’s Center is thankful to both Dr. Flexer and the Mapp Family Foundation for making this important event possible.”

The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at USM is an American Speech Language and Hearing Association approved continuing education provider.

About The Children’s Center for Communication and Development

The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi provides communicative and developmental transdisciplinary services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers while educating, training and supporting families, university students and professionals. For more information, visit www.usm.edu/childrenscenter