USHER in FOCUS – Usher Clinical Guidelines Session 1

Associate Professor Valerie Sung – Paediatrician, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

Paediatric Hearing Loss Investigation Guidelines, Genetic Testing


Dr Fiona Barker – Vestibular Specialist

Vestibular Dysfunction in Usher Syndrome Type 1 Patients, Supporting Gross Motor Development in Usher Syndrome Patients


Q&A Usher Clinical Guidelines with Valerie




Associate Professor Valerie Sung 

Associate Professor Valerie Sung is a consultant paediatrician and senior research fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Dr Sung is founder and chair of the Childhood Hearing Australasian Medical Professionals (CHAMP) Network which developed national guidelines for managing childhood hearing loss, as well as Director of the Caring for Hearing Impaired Children Clinic (CHIC) at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. 

Paediatric Hearing Loss Investigation Guidelines & Genetic Testing 

Associate Professor Sung will discuss the development of the Paediatric Hearing Loss Investigation Guidelines designed to streamline the management of children with hearing loss. A working group of 15 Childhood Hearing Australasian Medical Professionals (CHAMP) network members developed the guidelines to ensure early-stage medical management is improved to offer families correct and timely testing and reduce potentially unnecessary tests and referrals. The network is now developing the parent resource to reflect the CHAMP guidelines, as well as developing education materials for other clinicians. 

Dr Sung will discuss the implications of early diagnosis of conditions such as Usher syndrome and the opportunity for improved clinical care. 


Dr Fiona Barker 

Dr. Fiona Barker is a registered Clinical Scientist from the Princess Margaret Hospital in London who, over an 18 year career has developed a focus on the assessment and management of vestibular problems, dizziness and imbalance. She has a certificate in evidence-based psychological therapy and has a special interest in the consultation process and in the psychological impact vestibular problems can bring. Dr Barker is also involved in training Clinical Scientists as a lecturer on balance courses in the UK and internationally. 

Vestibular Dysfunction in Usher Syndrome Type 1 Patients & Supporting Gross Motor Development 

The vestibular system is important for the development of gross motor function in children. Children with Usher syndrome Type 1 typically have a dysfunctional vestibular system, causing a delay in acquisition of gross motor skills such as head control, sitting and independent walking. 

Dr Barker will discuss the early assessment and rehabiitation of vestibular function in children. She will then cover strategies that allied health teams can develop with families to ensure the safe promotion of gross motor development in children. 

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