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Better Hearing and Speech Month


Speech-Language Pathologist Spotlight

Meet Hailey Middleton


 How long have you been employed at UMMC, and what is your sub-specialty?
"I have been employed by UMMC since July of 2015. My sub-specialty is cognitive therapy specifically focusing on Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion, and Neurodevelopmental delays as well as co-occurring motor speech disorders. I am most interested in the application of whole brain learning utilizing inter-hemispheral techniques which have aided in quicker recovery of post-concussive symptoms as well as those that suffer from TBI and various neurocognitive diagnoses."

What is one thing you wish your patients knew about speech?
"I am not a parent (yet), but I wish all of my patients knew the importance of continuing to engage in pretend play instead of watching other kids play via youtube or through a television show. Technology is a great thing; however, we must remember the importance of play to develop early speech and language skills as well as social-emotional development important for language. This also includes how often parents are using technology/on their phones. For speech and language to develop appropriately, we must be their model. Imagine how difficult it is for a child to learn how to say a sound if their parents’ faces are blocked with their phones all day."

What is one thing you wish your patients knew about the importance of ENT health/early testing as it pertains to speech?
"Speech and hearing are associated to many important life skills, such as learning, socializing, communicating and eating. ENT and speech pathologist are dedicated to helping children achieve better quality of life by identifying, assessing and managing their speech, hearing and related problems. The best way to approach treatment for a communication disorder is to focus on prevention and early intervention. Language and communication skills appear to progress best in an environment that is filled with sounds, sights, and exposure to the speech and language of others."

Where did you get you education/degree from?
"I got my undergraduate degree from The University of Mississippi in 2012 and my graduate degree from Jackson State University in 2015."

Is there anything you would like for your patients to know about yourself?
"Working in pediatrics basically signs you up for daily 2-year old tantrums and “threenager” attitude. I may recommend CARE Training techniques, but I do not judge any meltdown that occurs in my office. Regardless, there is no greater blessing than helping a patient learn to effectively communicate either through verbal or non-verbal communication."