A Tribute To Marion Downs

As many of you know, Dr. Marion Downs passed away recently. Here we post a nice tribute written by Dr. Jerry Northern that he shared with us.

Dr. Marion Downs Passes Away at Age 100 World-renowned Audiologist and Pioneer for Infant Hearing Screening

Dr. Marion Downs Passes Away at Age 100
World-renowned Audiologist and Pioneer for Infant Hearing Screening

Dr. Marion P. Downs, an innovator in the field of pediatric audiology and a tireless advocate for the early identification of hearing loss, passed away on November 13th, 2014. During her extraordinary career at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Dr. Downs developed and evaluated techniques for testing hearing in babies and young children and for fitting them with hearing aids. Dr. Downs created the first universal infant hearing-screening program in 1963 in Denver, CO. She relentlessly pursued making the identification and management of hearing loss in infants and children an important medical, educational, and public health issue. Her professional publications and lectures brought worldwide attention to the importance of early intervention for hearing loss. Today, in the United States, more than 96% of all infants born in the US receive a newborn hearing screening thanks largely to her efforts. Numerous international countries have followed her lead in establishing universal infant hearing screening programs.

Dr. Downs was an exemplary teacher who lectured extensively throughout the United States and foreign countries. She published nearly 100 articles and books on various aspects of audiology, including serving as co-author with Jerry Northern of Hearing in Children, a preeminent textbook updated through five editions between 1972 and 2002 and translated into several foreign languages. A new 6th edition of Hearing in Children was published this year by Plural Publishing.

She almost single-handedly alerted the medical world to the speech, language, and development problems associated with childhood hearing loss. In order to ensure that pediatric hearing loss would remain a priority concern for all pediatric health care professionals, Dr. Downs proposed in 1969 that a national committee be established, comprised of representatives from professional hearing healthcare organizations, to periodically review and evaluate, and recommend “best practices” approaches to newborn hearing screening programs. As a direct result of her visionary thinking, the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing was organized to provide multi-disciplinary leadership and guidance for 45 years in all areas of newborn and infant hearing issues.
She has received an extensive array of awards recognizing her contributions throughout her career. Among her many honors are: the Outstanding Achievement Award from her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, and Gold Medal Recognition from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is the recipient of three Honorary Doctorate Degrees. Dr. Downs has been awarded the Medal of the Ministry of Health of South Vietnam. She has been recognized with honors of nearly every professional hearing-related society including the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Society. She was a founder of the American Auditory Society and the International Audiology Society. She was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and in 2007 she received the Secretary’s Highest Recognition Award from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Marion was an avid exercise enthusiast and won five gold medals for tennis in the US National Senior Games playing through her 8th decade. She used her wit and inspirational advice on living vigorously into her nineties to author a popular book titled, Shut Up and Live.

Marion was loved and revered by countless colleagues, former students and patients, as well as friends around the world. The Marion Downs Foundation will have a celebration of Marion’s life on Friday, January 9, 2015 for friends and family. To those interested in making tributes in honor of Marion, her family respectfully requests that you make a donation to the Marion Downs Foundation via their website at www.mariondowns.com, or by mail at 4280 Hale Parkway, Denver, CO 80220.

Written by Dr. Jerry Northern.

Management of Facial Paralysis

By Mark K. Wax, MD

Editor of Facial Paralysis: A Comprehensive Rehabilitative Approach

Facial Paralysis: A Comprehensive Rehabilitative Approach

Facial Paralysis: A Comprehensive Rehabilitative Approach

Facial paralysis is a devastating process. Normal facial function is of paramount importance in both cosmesis and how individuals are perceived by others. It also plays a role in natural physiological processes. When the facial nerve—which provides animation to the muscles of the face—is paralyzed, there are severe cosmetic, psychological, as well as physiologic sequelae. The facial plastic surgeon has the ability to play a unique role in both the reconstruction and the rehabilitation of the adverse effects of facial paralysis. Management paradigms for the multitude of issues that face these patients involve a team approach—not only facial plastic surgeons, but also speech pathologists, physiotherapists, social workers, family, and so forth. The facial plastic surgeon stands at the epicenter, able to direct the care of the patient to these different specialists.

Facial paralysis can be caused by many different disease processes. It may be temporary or it may be permanent. A fundamental understanding of the different pathological and physiological processes is important in the diagnosis and management of these patients, as temporary facial paralysis requires a different management paradigm than permanent facial paralysis.

Perhaps the most crucial initial actions are making a firm diagnosis and ensuring that no damage comes as a sequelae of not having normal facial nerve function. Eye protection is a primary concern. Protection of the globe is maintained by the normal function of the upper and lower eyelids and when these are not functioning due to facial paralysis, the issue must be addressed immediately. Inability to eat or drink because of paralysis of the lower face or a lack of will secondary to depression or the psychological effects of the paralysis must also be addressed immediately. Facial Paralysis: A Comprehensive Rehabilitative Approach addresses many of these issues with a focus on understanding the cosmetic, functional, and psychological consequences of facial paralysis. While surgical reconstruction of the various defects is well described and plays a fundamental role in the management of patients with facial paralysis, it is but one of the many tools required to manage these patients.

This text describes the different surgical paradigms and approaches for the various subsites of the face and is organized by each anatomic site of the face, which allows for an in-depth discussion of a multitude of surgical techniques for the specific area as well as the individual needs of the patient—including long-term effects and morbidity.

Management of the patient with facial paralysis is a multidisciplinary endeavor. Through integrating these different professions and areas of expertise, the patient with facial paralysis can be managed in a succinct fashion with the potential to obtain an optimal outcome.

About the Author

Mark K. Wax, MDMark K. Wax, MD, FACS, FRCS(C), is a professor in the departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Oral-Maxillo Facial Surgery at Oregon Health and Sciences University. He is also the residency program director and the director of the microvascular and reconstructive surgery fellowship. Dr. Wax is a past president of the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) and has been instrumental in the founding of a reconstructive committee for AHNS. As the co-coordinator for education for the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, he was responsible for the educational activities of the largest otolaryngology society in the United States. For more than a decade, Dr. Wax has had an interest in reconstructive surgery. He has more than 200 publications in the field and has been invited to present lectures on reconstruction in many different venues.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication: From Novice to Expert Clinician

By John McCarthy, PhD, CCC-SLP and Aimee Dietz, PhD, CCC-SLP

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication by John McCarthy and Aimee Dietz

Understanding the personal story of an individual who uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can have a positive impact on the attitudes of people without disabilities toward that individual (McCarthy, Donofrio-Horwitz, & Smucker, 2010). Almost any AAC specialist has story after story of moments when they have helped reveal the true abilities of an individual through AAC:

• The eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who everyone assumed had below average intellectual ability and presymbolic language skills, was in fact bilingual.
• The forty-year-old woman with bulbar onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who cannot dress or feed herself, but still manages her finances, parents her children, and makes end-of-life decisions.
• The eighteen-year-old girl with autism spectrum disorder whose potential to contribute to society was doubted, yet planned for employment after high school and managed a new mobile device-based communication system.
• The fifty-two-year-old man with stroke-induced aphasia who medical staff assumed was “incompetent”; however, still made informed decisions about medical care and enjoyed friendly banter on the golf course with his adult sons.  Continue reading

Plural Sponsors Communication Sciences and Disorders Library in China

Angie Singh, Plural Publishing CEO and President, has donated a collection of voice and communication sciences and disorders books to the Jinan University in China in honor of the late Dr. Sadanand Singh. Dr. Singh, founder of Plural Publishing, Inc. was an an esteemed international leader in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Donation plaque

Plural’s donation is in recognition of the collaboration between Jinan University and Ohio University in promoting the field of communication sciences and disorders in China.

Plural's collection of communication sciences and disorders books at Jinan University Library in China (2014).

Plural’s collection of communication sciences and disorders books at Jinan University Library in China (2014).

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Ten Advances in Cochlear Implant Technology and Services

By: Jace Wolfe, PhD

Over the past several years, there have been numerous advances in cochlear implant technology and services. As recent as a decade ago, there were little to no technological solutions available to assist a cochlear implant candidate/recipient, who presented with severe to profound hearing loss, with speech recognition in difficult listening situations—understanding speech in noisy and reverberant settings, over the telephone or television, and when spoken from a distance. Today, cochlear implant manufacturers offer a wide variety of solutions to meet the needs of patients with hearing aids or cochlear implant processors who struggle to communicate. This article identifies ten ways in which cochlear implant technology and services have evolved and improved in the past few years.

10. Automatic scene classification: Hearing aids have featured acoustic scene classifiers for almost a decade. Through these systems, hearing aids classify an environment as one that possesses background noise, speech in quiet or in noise, music, wind, and so forth. Once the listening situation is classified into one of these environments, the hearing aid selects the appropriate form of signal processing that will theoretically optimize performance in the given environment. This technology can be quite valuable as many users are unlikely to manually switch to programs designed for specific, challenging situations. Furthermore, this system will likely be well-received by cochlear implant users as it makes its way to implant sound processors.

9. The development of new speech recognition materials that provide a more realistic assessment of how hearing aid and implant users perform in real-life listening situations: Cochlear implant technology has improved so much that many users score near 100% correct on sentence recognition tests in a quiet environment with a single talker who is male and speaks at a slow to moderate rate. Additionally, many hearing aid users who struggle substantially in realistic situations also often score too well on these tests to meet the indications for cochlear implant candidacy. This fact makes it difficult to distinguish between excellent implant and hearing aid users and good users who may benefit from additional services.

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Reflections on 10 years at Plural

An interview with Plural President, Angie Singh

Angie Singh

Angie Singh, Plural Publishing’s President

What is your favorite moment in Plural’s history?

“My favorite moment occurred before Plural was incorporated. Some of the things we had most valued and had come to miss most in the ten years after the sale of Singular [the Singh's previous publishing house] were the close relationships, daily interactions and sense of purpose and commitment that we had shared with our authors.

One day, I received a call from longtime friend and Singular author Dr. Robert Sataloff, who suggested that we should start a new company. The idea intrigued my beloved husband and me but it also presented us with many challenges and concerns that included financial investment and the extraordinary time commitments that would alter and affect our lifestyle, especially with our eight year old twins.

We managed to overcome the most serious of concerns and embarked on a journey that became Plural Publishing. We were immediately pleased to learn that many of our past authors were eager to join us in the new venture. Ten years after founding Plural, I couldn’t be more gratified.” Continue reading

Meeting Industry Demands of the 21st-Century Vocal Athlete

By Wendy D. LeBorgne, PhD, CCC-SLP and Marci Rosenberg, MS, CCC-SLP

hy•brid sing•er- (n). Refers to the vocal athlete who is highly skilled performing in multiple vocal styles possessing a solid vocal technique that is responsive, adaptable, and agile in order to meet demands of current and ever-evolving vocal music industry genres.

Through our years of professional singing, training, and performance (resulting in an evolution to become voice pathologists and singing voice specialists), we have encountered a transition in the industry demands and injuries of the 21st-century vocal athlete. Today’s commercial music industry demands versatility of vocal athletes who are now expected to be skilled in multiple styles of singing. Not only are these singers asked to perform vocal gymnastics on an eight-show per week schedule, these vocal athletes must also possess excellent acting skills and strong dancing ability to be competitive. These demands on the voice, body, and psyche necessitate a physically, vocally, and mentally fit singer who is agile and adaptable. Continue reading

Ground-Breaking Book on the Mind-Body Link in Singers

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers by Karen Leigh-Post

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers by Karen Leigh-Post

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers: Unleashing Optimal Performance provides a fundamental understanding of functional anatomy and cognitive neuroscience to guide singers and teachers of singing to unlocking the mystery of the mind-body link involved in the complex audio-motor behavior that is singing.

New theories and concepts, rooted in both the wisdom of masters in the field and current scientific research, are introduced from the unique perspective of the performer. Practical application exercises train the singer to work with, rather than against, the systems of singing to integrate the cognitive and conscious with the unconscious sensory and motor processes of our nervous system. Continue reading

Brand New Practical Resource for Voice Coaches

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman, MM, MA, CCC-SLP, is an excellent resource for teachers of singing, voice coaches, and speech-language pathologists who work with singers and other voice professionals. It provides a new paradigm for working with singers in a way that allows for improved kinesthetic awareness needed to work with their body rather than against it. The text contains a series of lessons designed to train singing teachers, coaches, and voice therapists to recognize in their students the patterns of use and posture that interfere with respiration, phonation, and/or resonance. In addition, it provides tools for the teacher to guide the student to a level of self-awareness of habituated patterns along with strategies to implement change from the inside out. Continue reading

Invaluable Resources for Anyone Who Uses or Trains the Singing Voice

The Vocal Athlete

The Vocal Athlete by Wendy LeBorgne and Marci Rosenberg

The Vocal Athlete and the companion workbook The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer are written and designed to bridge the gap between the art of contemporary commercial music (CCM) singing and the science behind voice production in this ever-growing popular vocal style. These books are a must have for the speech pathologist, singing voice specialist, and vocal pedagogue. Continue reading