Assistant Professor Nannette Nicholson, who transferred her interest in communication to a career in audiology, is helping thousands of families make more effective decisions regarding their childâ€™s hearing loss through her research.
â€śItâ€™s heart-breaking to think about an infant with a hearing loss and no intervention,â€ť Dr. Nicholson said. â€śHearing loss affects everything about the childâ€™s life â€“ their social interactions, their development and academic performance. If we can prevent that devastating impact, then we should.â€ť
Dr. Nicholson, director of audiology in the joint UALR-UAMS program, begins working with infants and their families in a local neonatal intensive care unit. The National Institutes for Health provides funding for her research of the effectiveness of an eDVD tool designed to help parents explore the diversity of communication, education, and technology options when their child is diagnosed with a hearing loss.
â€śFamilies seem to relate to other families that have the same kind of problems they have,â€ť Dr. Nicholson said. â€śThe tool that weâ€™re working on now will help facilitate early decisions. We want to give the family time to adjust to the situation, but at the same time communicate the urgency of their decisions.â€ť
Dr. Nicholson earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in communication disorders at Northwest Missouri State University, a masterâ€™s degree in audiology at Illinois State University, and a doctorate in audiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center.