Understanding The “Process” Of Auditory Processing: Keynote by Dr. Jeanane Ferre Ph.D. CCC-A

Over 80 clinicians, parents, and local educators gathered for Dr. Jeanane Ferre’s Keynote on Understanding The “Process” Of Auditory Processing on Friday, May 18th at EvergreenHealth Auditorium in Kirkland, WA. The educational event was sponsored by Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic for Better Hearing & Speech Month.  

Dr. Ferre is a nationally recognized expert in the field of (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders – (C)APD –  in children and adults. She is an adjunct faculty member of Northwestern and Rush Universities. Her pioneering research led to the development of the Bellis-Ferre model for testing and interpretation of (C)APD (the model used at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic). 

Dr. Ferre’s presentation on the evaluation and treatment of (C)APD in children and adults, focused on the subtypes of auditory processing disorder with patient examples from her 35 years of experience. Based on the results of testing she outlined the importance of deficit-specific intervention including remediation and management for (C)APD. 

Watch the full keynote:

Q and A with Molly Cheshire Audiology 4th Year Resident

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your educational background?

I was born and raised in Gig Harbor, Washington. I lived there until I came up to Seattle for my undergraduate work at UW. After graduating, I moved to Tempe, Arizona to begin my graduate work at Arizona State University. I enjoyed the warm “winters” there, however the summers were unbearable! I am happy to be back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, completing the final year of my doctorate at ESHC.

2. What is it that made you want to be an Audiologist?

I always knew that I wanted a career in the medical field, where I could really help people. Upon entering UW’s Speech and Hearing Department as an undergrad, just starting on my major, I intended on being an SLP. However, all that changed on the first day of Dr. Werner’s Hearing Science class. I knew immediately that I wanted to be an Audiologist! Since then my passion for audiology has been strong.

3. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

My superpower would be to heal the world, and every living thing on it from pain. Cheesy, I know, but that’s me

4. Who is your favorite musician/band?

My musical tastes range from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to The Pixies and Social Distortion, and even a bit of Taylor Swift.

5. What has been your favorite moment or part of evergreen so far?

My favorite moment here so far was the All Staff meeting recapping BSHM. I walked away from that meeting feeling blessed to be a part of this wonderful company.

Evergreen Looks to a Bright Future

Noah and Molly: just two of our 5 new interns

Noah and Molly: Just Two of our Five New Interns

Who would have thought that Evergreen Speech and Hearing would be such a hot bed for internships? Evergreen Speech and Hearing has grown a great deal in the past 36 years and so has its Internship Program. Over the last few years, Evergreen has offered more internships and educational opportunities than ever before. Most recently, the clinics offered internships at the post graduate, graduate and undergraduate levels giving hardworking, bright students a chance to have hands on learning experience in the audiology and speech pathology world. Having higher education internship opportunities allows Evergreen Speech and Hearing to work with students of all different levels of interest. Post Graduates are usually extremely focused and already well on their way to becoming the next generation of Speech Pathologists or Audiologists. Graduate students are just figuring out if they want to pursue a career in audiology or speech pathology, earning their internship hours while learning more technical skills. Undergraduates have a desire to learn and explore the topic, even if not completely set on the audiology and speech pathology course. “As an undergraduate at Evergreen, I came in thinking I might want to start studying speech and hearing more, but I have come to be really interested in the business side of the company and they have really helped me learn and discover more about what it takes to run a solid business.”(Noah Levan, Undergraduate Intern). Evergreen knows it takes a team with many different skills to build a good company and helping these students not only makes for a better future in audiology and speech pathology but it also makes for a better clinic, with new ideas flying around all the time. This is one facet of Evergreen that keeps us on the cutting edge at all times and allows us to serve the communities as best we can. In conclusion, Ruth said it best “We pride ourselves on making the communities around us a better place, giving internship opportunities and letting people explore their interest in our field. It’s just one way we can do our best.”(Ruth, Clinic Director).

Join us: Advanced Communication Workshop!

iStock_000013906070SmallJoin us on Thursday, May 15th at 6:30pm for our Advanced Communication Workshop, which covers a wide range of informative and helpful topics to assist those managing hearing and speech challenges.

The workshop is put together in partnership with the University of Washington’s Audiology Department, bringing the latest in research and education to the rooms of ESHC. Students from the UW will pair with our doctors to introduce you to the newest techniques for improved communication!

Topics covered are:
*Advanced Technology: Made-for-iPhone and wireless Hearing Aids
*The Anatomy of Hearing
*Understanding your Audiogram
*Lip Reading vs. Speech Reading
*Communication Strategies & Tips
*Session Q&A with students and Audiologists

To join, please RSVP to our Redmond office at 425-882-4347 or at info@everhear.com. We look forward to learning together!

iPads Working Wonders for Kids with Autism

Kids are always stealing their parents’ iPads to play Angry Birds and watch videos. But as it turns out, there’s more benefit to this practice than just a boost in hand-eye coordination–especially when it comes to autistic children.

According to new research by Vanderbilt Peabody College’s Ann Kaiser and funded by Autism Speaks, children with autism can actually develop their speech skills later than previously believed, and iPads are proving to be a valuable tool in this regard. The study shows that children between the ages of 5 and 8 who use iPads as part of their speech treatment are developing far more spoken words, and even short sentences, with the help of iPads when compared to other types of interventions.iStock_000000401810Medium

Augmentative and alternative communication devices have been used for many years in the treatment of speech disorders, but thanks to a device like the iPad, there are now apps that do the same, offering a more affordable and accessible option for parents and therapists of children with Autism.

Researches used to think that, if children with autism had not begun to speak by age 5 or 6, they would be impeded for life. But Kaiser’s study results show that the iPad might very well change that idea. But just how effective is the iPad? In an effort to learn this better, Kaiser has begun a new five-year-long research project backed by The National Institutes of Health’s Autism Centers of Excellence with colleagues at UCLA, University of Rochester, and Cornell Weill Medical School. It uses two contrasting interventions (direct-teaching and naturalistic-teaching) to evaluate the effectiveness of the iPad in assisting children with Autism with speech development. Results from the Autism Speaks study will be available in Spring 2014, while the NIH study will continue through Spring of 2017.

More information can be found here: http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/11/ipads-autism-language/

Voice Disorders: Part 3

This is the third article in a three-part series on voice disorders.

The last step for a person with a voice disorder is treatment. A variety of voice disorders are treated by an SLP (ASHA, 2005). The ultimate goal of a voice program is for the person to obtain improved vocal quality long-term, with little recurrence of the voice disorder (ASHA, 2005). The literature has established that voice therapy is effective for both adults and children (ASHA, 2005). A comprehensive voice program customizes the program to each patient and his/her disorder.  Activities may include stretches to release stress/tension in muscles; breathing exercises; habits to support vocal health; and ways to change how a person is using his/her voice to a more efficient pattern. Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic is excited to be expanding our voice program.  Look for future blog posts with more information!


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). The use of voice therapy in the treatment of dysphonia [Technical Report]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.

Voice Disorders: Part 2

This is the second article in a three-part series on voice disorders.

A person with a voice disorder may begin by noticing that their voice feels tired or that their voice just isn’t the same as it used to be. Singers may find that they are unable to reach the high notes of their range. There are usually two main professionals involved in a voice evaluation, although additional team members may be added as appropriate.  The first is an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician. The ENT will generally perform a laryngoscopy or videostroboscopy.  Each of these procedures allows for the ENT to actually see the vocal folds and what’s happening. They can see if the muscles are tense and if the vocal folds are moving properly. Is one vocal fold moving more than the other? They will also investigate if there are contributing factors, such as reflux, to the person’s voice difficulty. The ENT may recommend medications to help with contributing factors.


The other professional involved is typically the speech-language pathologist (SLP). The SLP’s role is to evaluate the quality of the person’s voice and investigate the impact of the voice disorder on the person’s life. The impact of a voice disorder is individual to each person and is influenced by the severity of the disorder, voice use, and the person’s thoughts and perceptions. An evaluation by an SLP may be comprised of two main parts: auditory-perceptual measures and acoustic measures. Auditory-perceptual measures primarily involve a trained SLP listening to the person’s voice. This is how the voice is “perceived.” Auditory-perceptual measures allow the SLP to assess a person’s pitch, loudness, and overall quality in different contexts, such as saying “aaaaaaa” or while talking. The SLP will also observe the person’s speaking style- do they have signs of tension in the throat? Is the person using appropriate breath support, or are they talking for long periods without taking a breath?

Additionally, acoustic measures may be utilized during the evaluation with the SLP. This allows the SLP to obtain actual numbers pertaining to pitch, loudness, and information regarding cycles of vocal fold motion. Generally, the vocal folds move in sync, with both folds moving at the same pace. However, with a voice disorder, the cycles may become asymmetrical.  For instance, one fold may move more than the other. Extra tension or mass on the folds may create a lag or less movement, which then results in a voice change. Perceptual and acoustic measures are supported by the ENT’s diagnosis, which allows the patient to move forward with the most appropriate treatment plan. Additionally, during the evaluation, the SLP completes stimulability testing. This is basically where the SLP has the patient try out different therapy techniques to see which one is most appropriate for the patient.  At this point, a determination for therapy candidacy is made.

Voice Disorders: Part 1


This is the first article in a three-part series on voice disorders.

One of the most common questions an adult hears is, “What do you do?” When I answer, “I’m a speech-language pathologist.”, most people pause for a second, then respond with one of two answers: “Oh, so you work on /r/.” or, “Oh, like The King’s Speech?” Both of those are true- many speech-language pathologists work with articulation, where they teach individuals how to make sounds accurately. We’ve all heard Elmer Fudd in the Bugs Bunny cartoons with his “you wascally wabbit.” Speech –language pathologists (SLP) also work with individuals who stutter. However, another aspect of a speech-language pathologist’s training is also to work with people with voice disorders. HUH?!? First, what is a voice disorder, and why would an SLP work on that?

Let’s talk about the easy part first. SLPs are experts in the anatomy and physiology of the vocal tract. We have a thorough understanding of how the vocal folds move, how the muscles work, and ways to change these patterns to help a person achieve the best voice possible. When we produce our voice, air travels from our lungs and passes through two vocal folds.  These vocal folds begin moving and vibrating, and we have a “voice”. If one or both of the vocal folds are not moving properly, then a person may have a voice disorder. A voice disorder sounds different for each person, and may depend on the underlying cause. For instance, some people may sound breathy or hoarse, like they have a cold. Some people may notice that the pitch of their voice drops. Others may find that their voice becomes “tired” or keeps cracking/breaking when they talk (ASHA, 1993; ASHA, 2005).

An estimated 3% to 7% of the general population in the United States has a voice disorder. This number increases to 5% to 10% when only individuals who are “heavy” voice users are considered (ASHA, 2005). Heavy voice users include teachers, pastors, public speakers, and musicians, among others. While 5% to 10% does not seem like a large number, the expense of a voice disorder is.  In the United States, it is estimated that the cost of a voice disorder in teachers only is close to 2.67 billion dollars yearly (ASHA, 2005).  So what can a person with a voice disorder do?  This blog series will examine the journey a person with a voice disorder takes, with an emphasis on the role of the speech –language pathologist.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). The use of voice therapy in the treatment of dysphonia [Technical Report]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1993). Definitions of communication disorders and variations [Relevant Paper]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.

Congratulations Ritter!

217129_113025305447509_100002201196971_113243_820712_nWe are very excited to announce a very special staff accomplishment at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic. SLP Jennifer and Ritter have completed the training to have Ritter become Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic’s resident therapy dog.

Ritter started his Therapy Dog (In Training) program at ESHC on April 4, 2011. Given parent/patient consent, Ritter has had the opportunity for real-life training by participating in animal-assisted activities within treatment sessions with both pediatric and adult patients.  After achieving success with part-time training twice-weekly in the Redmond office, Ritter began training full-time in both the Redmond andKirkland offices on May 25, 2011.

Presently, Ritter participates in a variety of session tasks, based on patient preferences, including regular dog-activities such as greeting patients and having them pet him, playing jointly with patients using dog toys, and allowing patients to brush his fur.  Ritter also enjoys participating in play activities with children including taking turns popping bubbles, pretend play such as dress up or doctor, playing board games, and looking at/listening to stories.  If not being used in a therapy session, Ritter gets to catch a nap on his blanket.

We are so proud and excited to welcome Ritter as an official member of the ESHC staff.

Become friends with Ritter and follow his journey at Facebook.com/rittertherapydog.


Sports Day Fun!


Communication Enhancement Class

image002On Saturday, October 19th, from 1:00-2:00pm Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic is offering a communication enhancement class for individuals with all degrees of hearing ability. The goal is for participants to learn about why hearing loss causes communication difficulties and how poor communication can affect their well-being. The class is also designed to strengthen communication skills by learning strategies and new habits to maximize your abilities in many different listening environments.

Topics Include: 

  • Review of How We Hear
  • Causes of Communication Difficulties
  • Communication Breakdowns
  • Strategies to Enhance Communication
  • How to Advocate

Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time: 1:00-2:00

Location: Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic – Redmond Medical Center

8301 161st Ave. NE #208 Redmond, WA 98052

Please call 425-882-4347 or email info@everhear.com for a reservation.