Welcome to the GW Speech & Hearing Center FAQs. Here you will find answers for typical questions about scheduling appointments, our services, as well as hearing loss and hearing aids. If you don't find what you are looking for, please contact the GW Speech & Hearing Center staff directly at 202-994-7360.



Q1. How do I schedule an appointment?

A. Call the GW Speech & Hearing Center at 202-994-7360, and inform the staff of the type of service you are seeking.

  • If you need speech-language evaluation and/or therapy, intake information will be collected and your inquiry will be forwarded to the Speech-Language Pathologist with expertise in your area of need. Due to the high volume of clients calling, and the minimal number of new clients per semester, acceptance to our program cannot be guaranteed, however placement on a waiting list is available. 
  • If you need any hearing evaluation, hearing aid or cochlear implant services, an appointment with an Audiologist will be scheduled. Although the Center opens at 8:30 am, appointments start at 9:00 am. 

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Q2: Who should I call to make an appointment for an auditory processing battery of tests?

A: You'll need to speak directly with the Audiologist(s) who will conduct a basic phone interview to determine if the auditory processing evaluation is appropriate for the person in question. Requirements for an evaluation include recent speech-language and psycho-educational evaluations.  We provide auditory processing evaluations for children (ages 7 years and up), adolescents, and adults. The fee for this evaluation is $700.00 (subject to change) payable at the time of service. You will be provided with a universal insurance claim form to submit to your insurance for reimbursement, the amount of which depends upon the provisions of your policy.

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Q3: Why should I bring my child to the GW Speech & Hearing Center for a hearing test instead of my doctor's office?

A: GW Speech & Hearing Center is one of a few facilities in the area that does team testing, which involves an additional Audiologist and/or graduate student clinician(s) assisting the Audiologist in the test booth.  We focus on the needs of the child so that the Audiologist can concentrate on test procedures. This team approach typically offers a non-threatening and fun experience for both child and parent. Also, depending on the age or involvement of your child, the center has a variety of test procedures available. The Audiologists are experienced in testing children of all ages for possible hearing loss.

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Q4: How do I know I am a candidate for a hearing aid?

A: The first thing you must know is if you have hearing loss. It's advisable to have a hearing test as soon as you suspect that you have hearing loss. Another consideration is do you experience difficulty hearing or do you notice extra stress from not hearing or understanding speech or environmental sounds? Do you find yourself tired at the end of the day because you're straining to listen?

Sometimes family and friends will recognize that you have difficulty hearing even before you do. If they find your hearing loss to be a burden then you many want to consider a hearing aid just to be courteous to them. Another way to determine your candidacy for hearing aids is to ask for a demonstration and to try them in your typical listening environments.

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Q5: What should I do when my hearing aids whistle or feedback?

A: Feedback can occur from many reasons. One type of feedback is when a hearing aid needs a repair and has internal feedback. Your Audiologist can determine this. Another type of feedback is when the hearing aid works properly, but the amplified sound from the hearing aid gets picked up by the hearing aid microphone such as when you cup your hand over the hearing aid.

It's important to determine where the feedback is coming from. For instance, is the hearing aid or ear-mold fitting loosely and therefore causing sound leakage. Sometimes excess wax accumulation in the ear canal can cause feedback. Some solutions for feedback include, remaking the hearing aid or mold for a better fit, cleaning the ear canal, checking the hearing aid vent, reducing high frequency amplification or adding a "canal lock" to the hearing aid.

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Q6: What can you tell me about digital hearing aids?

A: There are many digital hearing instruments available. Most of these hearing aids analyze sounds, determine if the sound is speech versus noise and then convert this information to numbers which are analyzed and manipulated by a set of rules or algorithms that are programmed into a chip that controls the hearing aid amplification. As a result, digital hearing aids have less distortion that is generally found in analog hearing aids. These devises are extremely flexible and can be fine-tuned in many different ways via a computer.

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Q7: What is Aural Rehabilitation?

A: Aural Rehabilitation at GW Speech & Hearing Center provides training sessions on:

  •   Hearing Aid Orientation: Adjusting to your hearing loss and making the best use of your hearing aids.
  •   Speech Reading: Using visual cues in speech to enhance listening
  •   Auditory Training: Listening practice integrating what is heard with visual cues
  •   Communication Strategies: Assistance in controlling the listening environment and becoming an assertive listener.
  •   Assistive Listening Devices: Improve listening ability with hearing aids on the telephone, with television and in other challenging environments. 

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Q8: What is Cochlear Implant Auditory Training?

A: Following implantation, rehabilitation is necessary to maximize benefit from the implant.  The implantee is taught how to listen with the implant and how to understand speech as well as recognize environmental sounds.  Sessions are provided on an individual basis. 

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Q9: What is Accent Modification?

A: Foreign or Regional accent modification provides speech training for anyone interested in enhancing communication in all settings.  Aspects of training may include pronunciation, vowel modification, word and syllable stress, intonation, and flow that can enhance intelligibility, professionalism and overall communicative confidence. 

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Q10: What is Professional Speaking?

A: Provides training in a variety of areas including voice development, breath support, speech precision, vocal expression, fluency, rate, posture, non-verbal communication, and authenticity that can enhance poise, professionalism and overall confidence in all communication situations. 

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Q11: What are different voice problems?

A: Voice problems may include symptoms of hoarseness, weakness, poor vocal endurance, lack of vocal control, restricted range, throat discomfort, strain and/or vocal fold lesions such as vocal fold nodules, polyps or cysts.  Computerized technology with audio and video feedback is used for all aspects of voice modification. 

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Q12: What is therapy for the transitional voice?

A: Provides balanced voice modification in a variety of aspects of communication, including posture, breath control, pitch, intonation, resonance and volume while maintaining relaxation of all related structures. 

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Q13. What is language?**

A: Is made up of socially shared rules that instruct us on how to know what words mean, how to make new words, how to put words together, and what word combinations are best in what situations. 

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Q14: What is speech?**

A: The verbal means of communicating.  It consists of articulation (how speech sounds are made), voice (use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound) and fluency (the rhythm of speech).

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Q15: What is pragmatics?**

A: Pragmatics is concerned with the use of language in social contexts and the ways in which people produce and comprehend meaning through language.  It combines phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.  Phonology is the sound system of a language and the rules that govern sound combinations.  Morphology is the system that governs the structure of words and the construction of word forms.  Syntax is the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences, and the relationships among the elements within a sentence.  Semantics is the system that governs the meanings of words and sentences. 

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**Definitions are from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association website.