Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology Predoctoral Internship Training - Abstract

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Reesman

Hearing loss or deafness affects more than 48.1 million individuals in the United States, with nearly 1 in 5 Americans displaying a hearing loss as defined by the World Health Organization criteria (Lin, Niparko & Ferrucci, 2011), and 14.9% of US children affected by hearing loss or deafness (Niskar et al., 1998). Hearing loss prevalence is expected to increase in the future with the aging of the U.S. population, creating a challenge to psychologists in providing linguistically and culturally appropriate services to this growing high need and high demand population. Unfortunately, a 2012 review of sites listed in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) directory listed only two internship training positions with major rotations working with adults with hearing loss or deafness clinically. The proposed internship training program represents the first and only training program to offer specialized training to meet the needs of children affected by hearing loss or deafness. We will provide training to 12 future psychologists prepared to provide culturally and linguistically competent clinical services and meet the needs of individuals with hearing loss or deafness.

The Psychology Internship Training Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) has a long history of providing outstanding training via its predoctoral psychology internship program, accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) continuously since 1988, and supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) training grant. The KKI is located within a designated Health Professional Shortage Area and is a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) site. The DREAM Team: Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology Predoctoral Internship seeks to reduce the disparities and inequities in accessing health and mental health care services for individuals affected by hearing loss or deafness.  The psychology internship consists of two, 6-month rotations within the Department of Neuropsychology and the Pediatric Psychology Clinic and Consultation Program. Both programs provide a complement to the overall training experience by providing both inpatient and outpatient experiences, preparing trainees for work in a variety of settings with children, adolescents and young adults with significant health and development problems.

The DREAM Clinic is the largest clinic of its kind in the country, where children with hearing loss or deafness are able to receive culturally and linguistically competent and accessible consultation and evaluation services. Staffed by psychologists and neuropsychologists with formal training in hearing loss or deafness and fluency in ASL, providing much-needed, accessible and culturally competent services to a wide range of individuals and provides consultation services to individuals, schools, cochlear implant teams and other healthcare professionals. The DREAM Clinic and the KKI have a history of collaboration with local universities and psychology doctoral programs, including Gallaudet University (the only liberal arts university for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), with students from Gallaudet and other universities regularly participating and applying for training opportunities within the KKI, the DREAM Clinic and the Pediatric Psychology Clinic and Consultation Service.