<p>Children and young people with a hearing loss and additional complex needs often have limited opportunities to develop listening skills in an appropriate acoustic environment. They can find it difficult to make sense of sound which is a transient stimulus that can be meaningless unless they are supported to listen and use it for participation and engagement in their everyday life.
At Seashell Trust we have been developing individualised, music based interventions to provide auditory rehabilitation for CYP who are not receiving regular on-going clinical and rehabilitative audiological support during the Covid 19 pandemic. The original live delivery of our in-house Aurhythmics programme has been adapted to a remote intervention to provide improved auditory stimulation during lockdown.
These music based programmes are highly structured and are prepared using an audiological profile of the CYP and a specific response repertoire information collated from previous clinic and rehabilitation sessions. The music intervention utilises pre-recorded written by in-house musicians to meet the individual needs of the CYP, and other voiced and musical sounds to support listening and engagement with sound. Educational staff, in-house specialist teachers, and care staff are trained on-line to consistently deliver the programmes with follow-up information sharing.
The listening programmes have both clinical and rehabilitative objectives. Improved listening skills often increase health and wellbeing outcomes as well as supporting the individual to connect and communicate with others. It is anticipated that enhanced audition improves auditory memory, stimulates the auditory neural pathways, and supports hearing aid and cochlear implant use. The programmes also have direct clinical benefits as we frequency filter highly motivating music to incorporate as non-tonal stimuli for behavioural testing. Considerations for future practice will review whether the intervention could be delivered remotely via telepractice to allow a large number of children to benefit from the approach.</p>