I was very excited to read this book as I have seen some of Carol Flexer’s presentations on the auditory brain and the concepts have fitted well into my paediatric rehabilitation clinics, especially in relating the complexities of hearing loss to parents of newly identified children. Therefore I was keen to see what else could be gleaned from this publication.
The first half of the book, chapters one to six, at the authors’ admission, are a whistle stop tour of audiology and audiological matters and would be suited to an undergraduate student, or to any professional working with hearing impaired children and their families. Whilst it is focused on models and guidelines for the USA, it remains comprehensive in its subject matter, which is universal in respect to hearing impaired children.
Each chapter features small anecdotal inserts or sketched-style images which help break down the science. The book recognises the changes that have occurred in audiology following the advent of universal newborn hearing screening. Furthermore, it recognises that while outcomes for children with hearing impairments are improving, professionals still have a changing landscape ahead of them - this book is a useful reference point.
The second half of the book focuses on interventions to help the hearing impaired child make the most of neural plasticity and encourage the development of their hearing brain and the child’s own language acquisition. This would relate more, certainly within the UK, to teachers of the deaf, as well as speech and language therapists. However, it introduces concepts that will be recognisable and easily adopted by clinicians from different backgrounds to facilitate planning of clinics and interactions with the children they see.
Overall, this book is good value for money for around £65. It is suited to its target audience and I would recommend it wholeheartedly to an audiologist looking to move into paediatrics as a specialty. Equally, this text would be useful to those parents looking to understand more about their child and how audiology fits in around them and their child’s journey to developing speech and language.