On Book-Writing and Blooming in the (Phoenix) Desert

In my last update, I told you all about a number of life transitions and how they were shaping my practice at EAR-Central, PLLC.  I shared that 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 are considered on a case-by-case basis.  All services are handled on a private-pay basis.

My work with educational cases has  increased of late, particularly in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.  As a result, families who have requested an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) to determine special education needs and accommodations for CAPD may be authorized to have their services paid for by their school district, if approved.  In such cases, a purchase order authorizing my services will enable me to bill the school district directly, instead of the patient's family.

On my book...  Have you ever started eating a meal and worked away steadily at it, only to feel as if it were growing bigger with each bite?  Well, that 's my experience with writing The Elephant Between Our Ears...  The more I write, the more new ideas pop into my head!  It's quite a challenge writing a book which can span different groups--patients, parents, educators, audiologists, and allied professionals--without being over peoples' heads, and yet not dumbed down so as to be irrelevant for some.  Anyway, my writing continues, and I'm still targeting 2019 to have it done.  Thanks to those of you who have asked and encouraged me to this end.  I'll keep you posted.

I will also continue to 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).  The first half-hour is complementary, and thereafter is subject to an hourly rate.  (For more info, see our Fee Schedule.)

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).

Family Passages:

  • Many of you have asked about my Dad (89), who moved down to assisted living near me in August, 2017.  His wife Loretta, passed away September 29, 2018 after a long illness.  She was 96.  Though he misses her, his memory difficulty is a bit of a cushion against feeling it as acutely as he might otherwise.  He is doing well health-wise, and with his amazing sense of humor, is quite a favorite among the residents where he lives.
  • My dear mother-in-law "Char" (93) also passed away on September 10, 2018.  She had been in a marked decline for several weeks and was on hospice care.  Given her severely diminished quality of life, it was, of course, bitter-sweet.  My wife Shelley is doing well, considering.  Mom is always mom, and can't be easily replaced.  I lost my own mom in 2006, and still miss her very much.  Since Shelley is an only child, I loved to remind Char that I was her favorite son-in-law!  Even after hearing that for years, she still rewarded my corny humor with a big smile and a "That's right!" as long as she was able.  We miss her.
  • My daughter who was struggling with health issues for a number of months, is now doing very well, thank God!  Thanks to all of you who prayed and encouraged our family during that time.  She is currently applying to be considered for residence at "Rainbow Acres"--a Christian community for adults with developmental disabilities located near Camp Verde in northern Arizona.  On our visits, we have been very impressed with the high ethical and caring standards of this 30+-year old ranch located on 50 acres in the Verde Valley.  We've visited twice and our interviews with them are looking very promising.  Rainbow Acres is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt ministry.  If you would like more information, visit their website at https://www.rainbowacres.com/.


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:  mowebb.earc@gmail.com.  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 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)


This and That…

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

I recently wrote a letter to "Beth", 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 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