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I became a mom in 2009, and life has never been the same! Hoping to avoid another cesarean section in the future, I started researching the midwifery model and planning a home birth for my second baby. I felt drawn to the natural birth community and knew it would somehow be a part of my life.
Within my profession, I quickly realized that many out-of-hospital babies were not being offered a newborn hearing screening that fit into the natural setting surrounding their birth. For some, the screening was an afterthought or inconvenience.
I knew there had to be a friendlier way to offer this valuable screening. Why not have the screening where your baby was born with a professional who is aligned with your birth choices?
And so Little Ears Audiology was born and continues to grow.
Because every little ear deserves to hear.
Thankfully, I found it. I attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a degree in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. I then attended the University of North Texas and graduated at the top of my class in 2008 with a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.). My 4th-year externship was spent at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Children's Medical Center and Parkland Hospital. Through my employment, I was able to work in the neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at Parkland and Cook Children's, and I absolutely fell in love with the babies there.
Evaluating hearing in infants is a skill unique to a pediatric audiologist. During my clinical tenure, I specialized in evaluating hearing in infants and children using the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test, which is a way to analyze the brain's response to sound. It was never easy to deliver the news of hearing loss to a new parent, but I found incredible joy in watching infants hear the sweet sounds of their parents' voices for the first time with the help of hearing aids.
Hearing loss is one of the most common disorders present at birth.
(up to 6 per 1,000 babies born)
Hearing loss is 20 times more common than PKU, the most widely-tested-for disease in the newborn blood screen.
Every day, 2 infants are born in Texas with hearing loss.
9 out of 10 infants born with hearing loss are born to parents with normal hearing.
Untreated hearing loss can cause significant speech, language & communication delays.
Newborn hearing screens allow us to identify hearing loss within the first weeks of life; the previous average age was 3 years.
Texas law requires all babies to be offered a hearing screen.
My name is Andi Seibold. I have been a licensed pediatric audiologist in Texas since 2008. An audiologist is a specialist who diagnoses and provides treatment for hearing loss and balance disorders. I have practiced at recognized pediatric medical facilities including Children's Medical Center at Dallas, Cook Children's Medical Center, ENT for Children and was Clinic Director for the UNT Speech and Hearing Center in Denton.
As a Junior in high school, I knew I wanted to work with children with hearing impairment when I started learning sign language. I had the opportunity to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing children in several different capacities, and I was hooked. I just needed to find how that fit into a college degree.