What are some indications for aural rehabilitation?
Aural rehabilitation for adults hasn't always been the first referral for adults with hearing aids or with cochlear implants. It was often people who had had their amplification for a long period of time, who were continuing to be unhappy with the outcomes, or had continued areas of concern, that would be sent for aural rehabilitation. For example, someone would get a cochlear implant and they would not be happy. The audiologist might make some programming changes, mapping changes, and the person would return in three months and was still unhappy. After more adjustments to the technology, if the person was still unhappy, then they would be referred for aural rehabilitation. It may have been six months or a year, or even longer that they had been frustrated; there's no reason to wait that long. If you do have someone who's unhappy with outcomes with amplification, then we certainly can refer for aural rehabilitation, but there's also the opportunity for other people with hearing loss to benefit. Aural rehabilitation can be considered for someone who is visiting audiology frequently and needs constant reteaching, for those who have trouble using their amplification, for those who need help with assistant listening devices, and for people who just aren't hearing as well as they could be. It's important to remember that just because someone owns a piece of technology or amplification, even when it is physically attached to their person, it doesn't necessarily mean it's functioning optimally.
I advocate for anyone who's receiving new amplification or new technology to be considered for aural rehabilitation. We can always look for opportunities to maximize their outcomes and maximize the benefit they're receiving through their technology.
Refer to the SpeechPathology.com course, Adult Aural Rehabilitation: Indications and Assessment, for more information on areas of concern and indications for aural rehabilitation for adults.