Myths & Facts About Hearing Aids

By Alexa Demyan,

Make your hearing health a priority this Better Hearing & Speech Month. Our new Dublin Audiology Office specializes in hearing evaluations; the latest in hearing aid technology sales; hearing aid fittings and repairs; and custom hearing protection. Call (614) 261-5789 to schedule an appointment.

Myth: Hearing aids restore hearing to normal just as an eyeglass prescription can restore vision to 20/20.
Fact: Hearing aids do not “cure” hearing loss, but they provide benefit and improve communication. They can improve hearing and listening abilities and quality of life.

Myth: You can save time and money by buying hearing aids online.
Fact: By working with an audiologist, you are purchasing professional care and services to ensure that the correct hearing aid is selected and that proper programming of the hearing aid is completed. Other professional care includes:

• Full hearing evaluation
• Hearing aid evaluation
• Proper fitting of hearing aid
• Instruction on proper use and care of the hearing aid
• Follow-up care and support
• Repair services
• Rehabilitation services
• Referral for medical treatment (if needed)

Myth: A hearing aid will damage your hearing.
Fact: A properly fitted and maintained hearing aid will not damage your hearing.

Myth: Mild hearing loss is not bad enough for a hearing aid.
Fact: Everyone’s hearing loss and listening needs are different. Our audiologists will work with you to determine if a hearing aid is needed and how much it will improve your hearing.

Myth: Wearing a hearing aid in both ears is not necessary.
Fact: We normally hear with two ears. Binaural (two-eared) hearing helps us localize sounds, assists us in noisy settings, and provides natural sound quality. Most people with hearing loss in both ears can understand better with two aids than with one.

Myth: The invisible hearing aids worn in the ear are the best hearing aids to purchase.
Fact: There are several styles of hearing aids, and all are “state-of-the-art.” What is most important is that you purchase a hearing aid that accommodates your hearing loss and your listening needs.

Celebrating Mother’s Day and Better Hearing & Speech Month

By Alexa Demyan,

By Amanda Cifuentes, M.S., CCC-SLP

May is a very exciting month at Columbus Speech & Hearing Center! This month, we are celebrating two things we love – mothers, and Better Hearing & Speech Month! Are you looking for fun ways to celebrate these events while practicing speech and language skills? Look no further; we’ve got you covered.

Mother’s Day

Did you know?  President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation in 1914 stating that Mother’s Day would be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in May!

  • Cards: Practice using complete sentences. This is also a great time to work on vocabulary, such as adjectives describing the moms in your life!
  • Cooking: If you are making a special treat for Mother’s Day, this is a great opportunity to practice sequencing with your child. Before cooking, tell your child what you will do first, next, and last. Talk about what you are doing as you are cooking. Take pictures as you cook and use the pictures to have your child describe the treat-making process to the lucky recipient!
  • Crafts: This is a great opportunity to practice requesting, commenting, and describing. Put necessary items like glue, tape, or markers out of reach, but in sight to encourage your child to request them. Practice naming things you like about each person’s craft. Describe the stickers, ribbon, glitter, and colors of the finished product.

Better Hearing & Speech Month

What is it?  BHSM is a month focused on raising awareness of various communication disorders and the treatment targeted to improve hearing and speech abilities.

    • Make a Communication Collage: Brainstorm the reasons that you are thankful for communication. Are you thankful that you can communicate with friends? Ask for cookies? Tell a joke? Share kind words? Find pictures in magazines that represent reasons you are thankful for communication, cut them out, and make a collage!
    • Communication Connections: Communicating allows us to form and maintain relationships with others. Reach out to someone you care about using your favorite communication method – email, phone call, FaceTime, text, card, picture – whatever is best for you!
    • Learn Something New: Visit our social media pages throughout the month of May to learn how we are celebrating Better Hearing & Speech Month! We’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

Bringing Better Hearing & Speech to Central Ohio

By Alexa Demyan,

We listen to more than 30,000 words and speak over 7,000 words every day. Communication is vital to our human connection, and at Columbus Speech & Hearing Center (CSHC) we ensure that individuals and children facing communication challenges are being served and impacted. 

Serving central Ohio since 1923, CSHC provides vital intervention and therapy to more than 5,000 people annually. Untreated hearing loss and speech challenges have serious emotional and social consequences, including depression, anxiety, emotional instability, withdrawal, and isolation. Children, without early intervention, are not ready for kindergarten and may not have success in school or later in life. 

We’re not just one Center; we’re expanding our reach. CSHC provides services in over 15 local schools, 40 early childhood locations, and 13 different local libraries annually. Now we also have an office in Dublin, Ohio. 

View Our 2019 Annual Report

CSHC is a nonprofit organization that counts on the support of volunteers and donors to continue to provide services and programs so that people of all ages receive the intervention and therapy needed for their communication challenges. 

Regardless of size, financial support goes to work immediately by ensuring that care, compassion, and help is provided to children and individuals in our community who face communication challenges. 

As we prepare for Better Hearing & Speech Month in May, please consider giving a gift so the next person who walks through our doors will leave experiencing better hearing and speech. 

Give a Gift Today

Spring Activities for Babies and Toddlers

By Alexa Demyan,

Language: Use the same phrases (“Look! I found a…”) and simple sentences. Use gestures and pointing to help encourage understanding. Label items and pictures (flower, duck) but also describe them (pretty, cold, wet). Encourage following directions (“Give the flower to x.” “Find the little duck”).

Speech: Copy your baby’s sounds in a back and forth manner. Use fun sounds and words (“whee!,” “ooooo,” “ohhhh,” “wow,” “uh oh,” “oh no!”). Try to get face to face as much as possible so your child can see your mouth. Speak slowly, emphasize important words (“The bird is ON the fence!”), stretch out sounds in words (“uuuuuhhhhppp,” “sssssun”) to draw attention to them.

Cognitive/concepts: Talk about WHERE things are (up/down/in/out/on/off), the SIZE of things (big/little), the FEEL of things (wet/dry), COLORS (red, blue, yellow, green), HOW MANY there are (counting, 1, 2, 3, more).

Literacy:  It’s okay to read the same book over and over! Or the same page! This encourages learning through repetition. Follow the words from left to right with your finger as you read. Ask questions (“Where did he go?” “What is the baby doing?”). Make comments (“I see a yellow duck”).  You don’t have to read the book from start to finish, just talk about it, interact with it and your child, and have fun!

Gross motor: Go on a nature scavenger hunt – find leaves, sticks, rocks, flowers, etc. Draw with sidewalk chalk – you can draw out an obstacle course (footsteps to walk on, then lines to jump over, etc.). Crawl through a big box like a tunnel. Roll, bounce, and throw a ball. Take any indoor movement activities OUTSIDE!

Fine motor: Use any nature items (leaves, flowers) to paint. Use a fork to ‘stamp’ the petals of flowers. Use a dropper with watercolors or use markers to draw on coffee filters then clip with a clothes pin to make a butterfly! Fill buckets with different sizes of rocks to move, sort, dump, etc.

Sensory: Take a walk and smell the flowers. Sit/walk in the grass with bare feet. Create a spring bin – fill a small, shallow tray with outdoor items (leaves, grass, flowers, dirt, rocks) and add shovels, scoops, fake bugs, and small pots to dump and fill. Fill a small tub with water and add rubber ducks, rocks, sticks, leaves, etc. Talk about what you and your child are doing as you play!

Music: “Oh where, oh where has my little duck gone?” (to the tune of “Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?”), “Put the flower on your nose, on your nose. Put the flower on your head, on your head…” (to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it”), “5 Little Ducks Went Out One Day.”  Hold long ribbons and dance and swirl like the wind.

Social/Emotional: Decorate paper plates with duck/chick/flower faces and talk about emotions (happy, sad, mad, sleepy). Talk about feelings when you read them in a book or story or in real life situations. Label/talk about how your child might be feeling when they don’t have the words to tell you. Stay close when big emotions come but allow your child to calm down before trying to talk with him/her, then talk about the situation.

Happy Spring from Columbus Speech & Hearing Center! 

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s speech and language development, contact Lora McConnell, M.A., CCC-SLP at (614) 261-5462 or lmcconnell@columbusspeech.org.

Sensory Bin Fun!

By Alexa Demyan,

Sensory bins are a favorite tool of speech therapists, teachers and parents alike! They provide an immersive, hands-on opportunity for children to practice their speech and language skills. Here’s what you need to know to integrate this easy tool into your life.

What is a sensory bin?

Tub or container filled with materials carefully selected to stimulate senses.


Why use sensory bins?

Because they are FUN and ENGAGING for all. And you can target…

Expressive/Receptive Language:

  • Expand vocabulary (nouns, verbs, adjectives)
  • Find objects (e.g. “Where is the __?”)
  • Following directions (e.g. “Put beans in the bowl and dump it out”)

Social/Play Skills:

  • Take turns and share objects
  • Asking for objects
  • Commenting on what each person is doing
  • Pretend play
  • Conversation (e.g. “I like the _. What do you like?”)

Articulation:

  • Find objects/materials with the targeted sound (e.g. “sand” for /s/, “cars” for /k/)

How can I make one?

Buy a small or large tub (usually $2-10) and fill it with different materials and textures:

  • Soft: cotton balls, kinetic sand, feathers, marshmallows, pompoms
  • Squishy: packing peanuts, cooked pasta, squishy toys, sponges
  • Hard: beans, corn, rice, pasta, aquarium rocks, buttons, shells, beads, wood, Legos, chickpeas
  • Wet: ice cubes, water, jelly beads, shaving cream, gelatin
  • Objects: puzzle pieces, cars, balls, animal figures, shovels, scoopers, tongs, blocks, magnets, bowls


Want to share?  This article is a sharable PDF as well.


Sensory Bin Inspiration!

Here are some of our favorite sensory bins we’ve created.

Winter Sensory Bin

When winter-themed decorations go on clearance at the craft stores, our therapists stock up! Here are ways you can use winter-themed items to target speech and language skills

  • Prepositions and following directions
  • Categories
  • Adjectives and describing
  • Answering questions
  • Story creation/narration
  • Vocabulary

Fall Sensory Bin

This fall-themed sensory bin is perfect, especially if you love pumpkins!

  • Basic Concepts: Describe the size, texture and color of the fall items like pumpkins, apples and leaves. Sort by similar features to practice “same” and “different”.
  • Pretend play: Gather pumpkins and apples from you sensory bin for a fall harvest! Help your child think of the ingredients needed to make fruit pies for your feast.
  • Articulation: Hide small fall-themed objects or pictures under the black bean dirt. Practice speech sounds as your child discovers hidden items and then make sentences with those words. This is also a great way to target seasonal vocabulary!

Farm & Vegetable Sensory Bin

We used this sensory bin in group therapy and our students had a blast. You can use this as a group of friends or family.

  • Speech: animal sounds are an excellent way to get our little ones exploring early consonant-vowel combinations ( like “moo, oink, baa, neigh”) and Old MacDonald provides a perfect opportunity to practice vowels when singing “e-i-e-i-o”.
  • Social Language: we made a “garden salad” for our animals to enjoy. Students labeled vegetables they found hiding in the corn and told the group which were their favorites. Everyone took turns asking follow-up questions to find out how peers liked to cook their vegetables and which of their favorite meals have vegetables. We learned our students love salad!

Summer Sensory Bin

We created two sensory bins we could pair with some favorite summer-themed books to practice

  • Articulation: Hide items that contain your child’s speech sounds in the rice or kinetic sand
  • Vocabulary: Describe the size, shape, color and other attributes of the objects found
  • Imaginative Play: Create an ocean-themed birthday party using kinetic sand and shells to make a birthday cake, decorations and presents

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

This bin was inspired by The Autism Helper. It uses dessert matching and rainbow rice to help students practice

  • Following multiple step directions
  • Self-advocacy (i.e. asking for help)
  • Picture description
For templates visit The Autism Helper

Check out our Pinterest page and Instagram page for more sensory bin inspiration and fun activities to target speech therapy goals in the home.

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This post written for you by Sarah Denman, M.A. CCC-SLP and the Speech Department team of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center

Now Seeking Volunteers for Halloween Hop!

By Alexa Demyan,

Columbus Speech & Hearing Center is excited to begin planning for our annual Halloween Hop! This sensory-friendly event is perfect for trick-or-treaters of all ages and a great opportunity for kids to experience a non-spooky Halloween.

We are searching for volunteers to join our Halloween Hop planning committee. The time commitment is approximately 3-5 hours per month leading up to the event with a slight increase in hours leading up to the execution of the event in October. We want to plan for the safest, most fun Halloween Hop yet!


If you’re interested in serving on the Halloween Hop planning committee, email Danielle Dobkins at ddobkins@columbusspeech.org or call (614) 261-5415.