Audiologist Fulfills Father’s Wish to Help Daughter

Editors’ Note: This feature appears as it was published in the fall 2017 edition of UT Dallas Magazine. Titles or faculty members listed may have changed since that time.

A father’s love knows no bounds.

When 4-year-old Truly Urso had trouble adjusting to new hearing aids, her dad, Joe Urso, sought a pair of his own.

In stepped the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, which provides, adjusts and modifies hearing aids for hundreds of adults and children each year.

As one might expect with a youngster, Truly initially didn’t want to wear her hearing aids as often as she should. So last year, a few weeks after Truly received her set, Urso approached Dr. Kenneth Pugh, audiologist at the Callier Center, seeking a pair of hearing aids. His set does not work — and not by mistake.

Urso said sometimes Truly’s hearing aids got uncomfortable or she just didn’t want to wear them. But without hearing aids, his daughter tended to withdraw from social situations, he said. He wanted a pair of nonworking hearing aids for himself so he could demonstrate good behavior for Truly while highlighting how “cool” the hearing aids were.

“Our rule is they have to be worn all the time to make sure she’s hearing everything properly,” he said. “So I show her that I have mine on and it becomes easier for her to accept that; ‘Daddy does it, so I need to do it.’”

Urso realized that Truly had a hearing problem when she was about 3 years old. After a few starts and stops, he brought her to the Callier Center last year. Truly has trouble hearing some sounds at high frequencies, but hearing aids fitted by Pugh have helped her hearing improve.

“The hearing aids have changed her life,” Urso said.

Dr. Kenneth Pugh (right), audiologist at the Callier Center, helped ease Truly Urso’s transition to hearing aids by handling a special request from her dad, Joe.