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May 27, 2011

Clarke Audiologist, Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley featured on Springfield’s Channel 22 News


May 27, 2011—Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley from the Clarke Hearing Center was interviewed on WWLP Channel 22 News as part of May as Better Hearing and Speech Month (video and transcript provided). 

Video from WWLP:

Transcript below:

Channel 22 News Anchor: More than 12,000 babies are born each year with significant hearing loss. To raise awareness of this issue, May has been designated as Better Speech and Hearing Month. Here to talk more about this with us this morning is Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley, an audiologist at the Clarke Hearing Center. Thank you so much for waking up early with us. Some startling statistics there right off the bat: 12,000 children--that’s a lot and this really affects their lives too.

Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley: Yes, there’s actually a larger number than people think. It is the number one birth anomaly that affects children. And hearing loss can have a great affect on how children develop speech and language especially. Even from slight or mild hearing losses all the way to profound hearing losses. It also can have a social implication if they cannot communicate correctly with their peers or with their families, so it’s very important.

Anchor: Yes and it can probably also impact their self-esteem you know if they are not able to communicate with their peers. You know, they may begin to feel self conscious, you know just affect them in that way.

Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley: That’s a large part of it too. Children who can’t communicate a lot of times will injure themselves; they can actually throw themselves on the floor, throw tempers because they can’t communicate what they want. It’s very very frustrating for them. So to get them the ability to communicate by helping them to hear with amplification is very crucial to their development.

Anchor: It sounds difficult. What can parents do to help their children if this is something that they’re dealing with?

Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley: Well if their child refers on the newborn hearing screening, which every child gets before they leave the hospital, it’s very very important for them to follow up. They should follow up with the audiologist to get the appropriate test that is needed. That’s going to let them know if there is a permanent hearing loss, if there is something that can be done. Also, early intervention, so getting the child enrolled in a program, help them with speech and language, help them with development. Clarke Hearing Center has a parent infant program that’s very successful and really great for the children and the parents as well. Then also getting them amplification, making sure they get hearing aids at a few months old and that they can hear the sounds around them and learn how to use their hearing.

Anchor: It’s a difficult situation with some great information that you offer. Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley thank you so much for joining us. We’re going to talk with you again in the next half hour.

Dr. Christine Alexander Kelley: Alright, thank you for having me.