Florida’s CHAP Program Ensures Access to Hearing Health for Children
Shouting on the playground, Mom calling everyone for dinner, Dad reading a bedtime story — the sounds of childhood are the ones we remember throughout our entire lives. Central Florida Audiology reports that the loss of familiar sounds can spur older adults on to acquire hearing aids, but when children have hearing loss, it’s the guardian’s job to make sure it is diagnosed and treated.
Hearing loss is usually a topic geared toward with older folks, but sadly, hearing issues affect people of all ages. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH) reports that 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. For them, hearing loss can impact their overall development and quality of life.
Thankfully, there is help. The Children’s Hearing Aid Program (CHAP), in Florida, recognizes the importance of early intervention and offers assistance to children with hearing challenges, and their families. For Floridians, this program ensures that every child can experience the joys of sound and communication. Central Florida Audiology works with CHAP patients in both their Apopka and Leesburg locations, and have seen some amazing things happen through CHAP.
What Is CHAP?
The Children’s Hearing Aid Program (CHAP) was launched in Florida to provide hearing devices and related services to children in need. Whether a child needs a diagnosis, hearing aids, cochlear implants, or something else, CHAP is there to help and give hope. Operating under the Florida Department of Health, CHAP throws a lifeline to families who struggle to afford hearing devices their children require. Ensuring access for ALL to this necessary hearing treatment and technology, CHAP’s aim is to assist and empower children with hearing challenges.
An emphasis on early intervention is one of the most important aspects of the CHAP program. Audiologist Amy Davis, Au.D., from Central Florida Audiology, states that, “Early detection and intervention for hearing loss significantly improves a child’s language development, cognitive abilities, and social interactions.” With hearing devices, children can better engage with their surroundings, participate in school, and communicate with their friends, teachers, and families.
CHAP is designed to cater to a wide range of families, regardless of their financial situations. Cochlear implants and hearing aids can be prohibitively expensive. Many families cannot afford them. CHAP bridges this gap by offering financial assistance, ensuring that every child in Florida has the opportunity to hear well.
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are just the beginning — CHAP goes beyond simply providing technology. The program offers comprehensive audiological evaluations, fitting services, follow-up care, and training for parents and caregivers. By imparting knowledge and resources to families, CHAP contributes to creating an environment where children can thrive.
The team at Central Florida Audiology maintains that a crucial facet of the CHAP program is that it’s raising awareness about the importance of hearing health in children. CHAP educates the public about the early signs of hearing loss and the benefits of timely intervention. It also works to reduce the stigma associated with hearing issues by fostering a culture of empathy and support. CHAP makes a lasting impact on children’s lives by breaking down barriers to hearing health access.
Does your child need hearing devices? CHAP can help eligible families pay for them. Central Florida Audiology works with CHAP patients in both our Apopka and Leesburg locations. Call for an appointment today!