IMPORTANT UPDATE: Life Transitions: Closing Office/ Case-by-Case Consulting Services Available Upon Request

Well, life is funny.  This past year has been our busiest ever!  We have been helping people from all over the country, some directly, some via distance consultations.  At times our services have had to be wait-listed.  I was invited to present about CAPD issues at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),  in Boston, MA this November, 2018.  ASHA is the largest gathering (~15,000) of Audiologists and Speech/Language professionals in the world.  I initially accepted.

But, life...  I shared about my Dad's journey being re-located to Assisted Living to be near us (see below).  Shelley's mother, 93, with increasing dementia, was also recently moved to assisted living, and, along with my Dad, still require our oversight and visits.

Recently, a health crisis involving our disabled adult daughter (who also lives with us), has taken center stage and much energy.  So Mike withdrew his acceptance as an invited ASHA speaker.  And made some other needed decisions...

Chief among the choices I've made is the decision to close our Hereford/Sierra Vista Office.  As I said, this occurs at a time when services have been developing and growing.  I was recently commended by an Educational Advocate in Scottsdale, AZ for making a profound contribution to students she had referred for evaluation by myself (a six-hour round trip from Scottsdale) and that she had more she wants me to see.

But, life... To make a complex story more simple, I'll just say that I am not stopping CAPD practice altogether.  The nature of my practice is transitioning into a different form.  Of necessity, I have to cut back.   Also, the locus of many of my diagnostic referrals are coming from the larger metropolitan areas like Tucson, Phoenix/Scottsdale, even Albuquerque, NM.  So, a more focused and strategic, and streamlined, practice approach seemed in order.

So, I have been invited to make use of clinic space at a strategic practice in Phoenix.  Here in Sierra Vista, I have set up a home-based office for my diagnostics and therapy services.  [Click here for a look.] Tucson may be considered at a future date.  This will permit me to provide complete CAPD evaluations (plus therapy/educational strategies) on a more localized basis for patients, and then work out online/computer-based therapy and/or network with local therapy providers to implement treatment (outside of Sierra Vista).

When life happens, we must either "adjust or self-destruct" (quote from author Craig Massey).  This wisdom forms the basis of my transitional plan.  So, while I'm no longer offering full-time CAPD practice in this season of life, I am still available for strategic evaluation and treatment planning for CAPD patients upon request.  Requests for diagnostic services will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  All services will be on a private-pay basis.  Effective May 15, 2018, I will no longer be a Tricare Participating Provider.  (I will continue to see Tricare patients upon request or referral, but only as a Non-Network provider and will not accept Tricare payments as payment-in-full.)

I will also offer telephone and Skype consultations for patients outside my local area who need guidance and support, and referral assistance (and of course, can arrange personal visits for patients willing to travel to an Arizona location).

Lastly, my passion to help audiologists-in-training (or those developing CAPD practices) remains alive.  "AudMent" professional mentoring services will still be available upon request.

For any/all of these transitional services, I can provide further information upon request.  Please email me at mowebb.earc@gmail.com.  Telephone consultation can be arranged by calling 877-456-4725.


>Upcoming/Recent Events:

May, 2018: I have been once again been asked to submit an article to the Pathways online journal for neuro-audiology (Edited by Dr. Frank Musiek).  The article will actually be a case review of two pediatric patients (brothers) I have seen recently with Hereditary Spherocytosis (HS), a hereditary blood disorder characterized by misshapen red blood cells.  The resulting conditions include anemia and elevated bilirubin levels (jaundice), both of which pose potential risks to auditory integrity--both peripheral and central processing--with resultant risks to educational progress, especially when school systems fail to acknowledge and accommodate for the subtle, yet significant educational impacts that marginal ("low-normal") peripheral hearing can have, especially when combined with a co-morbid (co-existing) central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).

 


My Dad's "Rite of Passage":  Thank You to My Patient Patients!

The past month has seen a big increase in referrals for CAP tests and scheduling for CAPD therapy appointments.  This past week has also witnessed a significant "rite of passage" in our family: my 88-year old Dad now requires assisted living support and we moved him down to Sierra Vista from the Phoenix, AZ area.

Of course, this was the culmination of months of planning and preparation.  Understandably, this is always a major life change with the associated need to offer much support, especially in these early days of his transition.  As a result, I have found myself stretched to be accessible to both patients and family.  Thankfully, we found a lovely assisted living center, Via Elegante, here in the Hereford area, only 3-4 minutes away from my office...so convenient for popping in to see him!

Thanks so much to my wonderful patients (and their parents/loved ones) who have been so understanding and flexible with me (and my schedule) as we are walking Dad through this big change.  I appreciate you all so much.  Pray for him and my family as we all march to "a different drum."

Michael Webb and EAR-Central, PLLC Offer Audiologists, Related Specialists Mentoring and Training in CAPD Practice Development!

Due to a significant shortage of CAPD-qualified audiologists, and after requests from audiologists (and related specialists like SLPs) for help in this area of practice, EAR-Central, PLLC now offers various forms and levels of CAPD practice and procedures training for those wishing to expand their expertise into this promising, yet undLaptop n Notebookerserved sub-specialty.

One of Mike Webb's specialty areas is the fitting of Personal Hearing Devices (Hearing Aids) for Management of CAPD.  (More info here.) His forty-plus years of hearing aid experience (with ten-plus in fitting CAPD patients) makes him a great resource for training in this specialty field.  See the report about his recent presentation about this emerging CAPD treatment in Kansas City.  (Next column over, at the bottom.)

Services range from email or phone consults, to online training, to onsite training.  We also offer 1-3 day training courses for groups who desire that in a particular locality.  Click here for a closer look.  We welcome any questions you may have about availability, costs, or other specifics.

In this turbulent and disruptive season of audiology practice, the return to our habilitative and diagnostic roots--separate from, but including the use amplification devices--will mark the future and expand the value of the audiological specialist who assesses and treats the WHOLE system, not just the peripheral.  And as more CAPD diagnoses impact the caseloads of related specialists, we can help de-mystify how to move forward cooperatively to help our mutual patients.  We welcome your interest and inquiries.

Email:  mowebb.earc@gmail.com.  Call:   877-456-4725 (toll-free).

We just received an very kind letter of recommendation from Dr. Jack Katz!

February 7, 2016

I am pleased to recommend my friend and colleague Michael O. Webb, M.S. CCC-A and his wife Mrs. Shelley Webb in their Neuro-Audiology and Auditory Processing Services. Michael Webb has extensive background in these two areas of Audiology and Shelley Webb’s training and experience are in reading. In addition, I have worked closely with the Webbs in the effective use of my tests and therapy materials.

For me what makes the Webbs so wonderful to work with is their intelligence, integrity and concern for those with whom they work. For these reasons I recommend them to you without qualification.

Sincerely,

Jack Katz

P.S. Mr. Webb did not request this letter of recommendation. Rather I asked if he would like me to write a letter of recommendation for his website.


Book Coming in 2018!

   A Challenging and Informative Look at CAPD--Diagnosis, Treatment,    and  Why it gets Overlooked.   By our CAPD Specialist, Michael Webb!

The Elephant Between Our Ears (Some Assembly Required):

A Proactive Guide to Diagnosing and Managing Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)

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Interactive Metronome® Now Available At EAR-Central, PLLC!

i-m-logoInteractive Metronome® (IM) has been widely used as a treatment tool among speech/language professionals and occupational and physical therapists for a number of years.  It is frequently sought out by athletes to improve certain performance skills.  Peripherally, it has been recommended in the treatment of clinical manifestations of auditory processing disorders (CAPD), but not utilized very often.

What is IM?  It is a training system which assesses and treats the neurological functions related to TIMING and RHYTHM and COORDINATION.  What does that have to do with CAPD?  Speech and language usage operates in multiple dimensions:  frequency (pitch), intensity (loudness), and TIMING (duration).  The timing aspect is called TEMPORAL PROCESSING.  Though this is grossly over-simplified, it is not overstated to say that TIMING, and it's correlate, RHYTHM are critical in our communication skills and processing speed.  There are also links to attention and self-regulation.

Recent research at Northwestern has shown that persons with deficient ability to maintain good timing/rhythm frequently have corresponding delays in speech, language, and reading abilities.  IM assesses a patient's efficiency in timing and rhythm.  Based on these baseline measurements, a treatment plan which trains these modalities is undertaken, frequently resulting in significant improvements in disorder areas affecting speech, language, motor skills, attention, self-regulation, auditory and cognitive processing.  IM is also known to be a helpful adjunct to other traditional therapies, often accelerating and improving their outcomes.  While no therapy guarantees can be made, the outcomes are typically very beneficial.

IM assessments and therapies are generally done in the clinic.  In cases where prolonged therapy plans or more severe dysfunction is present, a home version, IM-Home, is available.  IM Home permits less travel, office time, and more frequent, intensive therapy opportunities.  Frequent and intense neurological stimulation is a critical component to successful therapy outcomes via neuroplasticity--the brain's ability to "rewire" itself through targeted activities.

For more information about IM, or to schedule an assessment, please call our office at    877-456-4725 (toll-free), or email Mike Webb at mowebb.earc@gmail.com.


"It should be noted that CAPD is not technically a solitary, unified disorder, but actually represents a group of clinical entities which–individually or occuring together–create communicative difficulties for a patient.  Symptoms like poor speech-in-noise performance, temporal processing problems, “amblyaudia” (abnormal integration of the signals from the two ears in the brain), spatial processing disorder (SPD), phonemic decoding; etc., represent some of the clinical manifestations that are called CAPD.  Professional differential diagnosis by a qualified Neuro-audiological specialist is critical."

--Michael Webb