EAR-Central: Covid-19, Retirement (Sort of) ...A New Season!  An Update...

Well, along with most of the world, Covid-19 had significant impacts on our practice.  Even though we were in Arizona, which had a bit more conservative restrictions associated with the virus, we were effectively shut down for most of the first three quarters of 2020.  Our practice is adaptable to using safety measures, but most people went through a period of insecurity which effectively drove them underground for a few months.

Then in the last quarter, restrictions began to relax a bit and people became desirous of returning to a responsible, but wider "normal."  As a result, we became more busy, working a lot with school districts and families who were either referred to me or found us on the website.  It became necessary to limit the spacing of new patients because of the time required for records review and report writing.

Then, two major life-changes occurred in April, 2021.  On April 8, our daughter, Rebekah (37) opted to move back home from Rainbow Acres (RA), due to the necessity of very conservative Covid-19 restrictions which had severely restricted many of the attractions of living there.  She also was hired at a Prescott Valley Christian daycare facility, since she had worked 11 years in a similar facility in Sierra Vista.  Since RA was a private facility, the monthly expenses for Bekah were significant, and was one of the reasons my wife, Shelley, felt the need to continue teaching, as well as I felt the need to continue regular practice.

The second April landmark was my 70th birthday.  Being 70 makes one think about the relative importance of a "job" alongside of other priorities and commitments.  Well, like dominoes, Bekah moved home, I turned 70, Shelley gave notice that she would not return to her teaching job next year, and I decided to retire from regular practice, effective May 1, 2021.  The operant word is "regular."

This decision is still taking final shape.  I love CAPD practice.  I am considering how (whether) I might stay involved in a limited fashion going forward.  One high priority I have is to finish my book The Elephant Between our Ears, which has been taking shape for about three years.  Unfortunately, writing is very time consuming and I haven't been able to concentrate on it.  I feel that this book may one of the best ways of helping many people in their pursuit of answers and  help with CAPD.

I want to be available as an advisor to those in the CAPD process or searching for resources.  Since I do act as a mentor/trainer for audiologists upgrading their skills/practice to include CAPD, I am still considering requests for diagnostic testing which will promote that training opportunity.  So, I'm living a bit of a double life these days!  I'm still professionally active in a more limited sphere of opportunities.  I'm also trying on the life of an "emeritus" retired guy.  I have a greenhouse which needs my attention, and I find gardening very therapeutic!  I have an RV which has a wonderful habit of finding berths closer to our kids and grandkids, which is a special privilege.  Being "Tata" and "Dad" is an eternal investment, close to my heart.  Writing, both professionally and as a devotional outlet is my passionate avocation.  Greater involvement in our faith community is an important call on our lives.

Anyway, I plan to maintain this website as a resource--a road sign--for CAPD seekers...for the forseeable future, anyway.  My licensure to practice is current for another year; and my current plan is to renew in 2022, unless life and God direct otherwise.  While I feel strongly that it's time to step away from regular "practice as usual," the beauty of that is, I have the flexibility, if it's a good "fit", come alongside a "special case."  Everyone feels theirs is a special case, of course (I would too!).  I'm asking the Lord for wisdom in choosing when and how to help.  It's been said "Every need is not a call."   If I can't personally help in a particular case, I'll try to give some "connections."

There's an old Irish blessing:  "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand." 

I don't much believe in secular vs. sacred distinctions.  All of life is holy, the way can be difficult, and we all need grace, mercy and help in times of need.  Finding answers and resources for CAPD help can be daunting.  I pray your road will be divinely inspired, "lighted" to meet these needs, for you, your children and significant others.

If you need to make inquiries please call 877-456-4725.

Family Passages:

  • My daughter Rebekah (37), made her big move to "Rainbow Acres"--a Christian community for adults with developmental disabilities located near Camp Verde in northern Arizona.  The big day was August 13, 2019.  and she was doing very well.  We weren't sure if she would feel really homesick and insecure, but she left the nest and prospered!  She enjoyed classes, creative activities, outings and developing new friendships.  She became an encourager for some of the other "ranchers" and was recently recognized for this strength by leadership.  We knew she would be a blessing, as well as being blessed!  Covid restrictions changed all that, unfortunately.  Since they are regulated as an assistive living facility, the limitations were severe.  We didn't get to see Bekah for 9 months, she missed Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.  The experience became very confining.  After much prayer, Bekah has moved back home, found a good job, and is enjoying the freedoms she missed.  At some point, she may again need a facility like Rainbow Acres.  The RA staff assure us that she will be welcomed back if, and when, that time should occur.  We are so thankful for their unique ministry to adults with disability. Their website at


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.  

Services range from email or phone consults, to online training, to on-site training.  We also offer 1-3 day training courses for groups or individuals 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:  Call:   877-456-4725 (toll-free).

We received a 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.


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 2021!

   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)


This and That…

Dear Parent...Why I'm not "Dr. Webb."   

I recently wrote a letter to the mom of one of my patients, explaining why my title is not "Dr. Webb" and why I usually tell people, "Just call me Mike."  Having different degrees within the same profession can be a little confusing.  I included it on my "Our Specialist" page (in the right-hand sidebar).  Click here to read it.

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

"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