According to the ASHA Leader Blog, “Auditory Verbal Therapy: Supporting Listening and Spoken Language in Young Children with Hearing Loss and Their Families,” 95% of parents of children with hearing loss are hearing (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2004), and many of these families wish to pursue a spoken language path for their children who exhibit hearing loss; rather than a modality that utilizes signs or gestures. This goal is attainable with early identification, appropriate amplification, and intervention approaches that focus on achieving typical development in listening, speech, language, cognition, and conversational competence. As technology for amplification improves and parents are presented with a myriad of options for their children’s communication modality, more families are electing to pursue this spoken language option through Auditory-Verbal therapy.
Auditory Verbal Therapy focuses on learning and developing language through listening the same way a child with typical hearing would do. The Alexander Graham Bell (AG Bell) Academy for Listening and Spoken Language (the governing body for Listening and Spoken Language Specialists) defines Auditory-Verbal therapy as follows:
“Auditory-Verbal Therapy facilitates optimal acquisition of spoken language through listening by newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Auditory-Verbal Therapy promotes early diagnosis, one-on-one therapy, and state-of-the-art audiologic management and technology. Parents and caregivers actively participate in therapy. Through guidance, coaching, and demonstration, parents become the primary facilitators of their child’s spoken language development. Ultimately, parents and caregivers gain confidence that their child can have access to a full range of academic, social, and occupational choices. Auditory-Verbal Therapy must be conducted in adherence to the Principles LSLS of Auditory-Verbal Therapy.” (AG Bell Academy, 2012).
Auditory-Verbal therapy relies on ten principles to make up the basis of the intervention. These principles are outlined below:
- Promote early diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children, followed by immediate audiologic management and Auditory-Verbal Therapy;
- Recommend immediate assessment and use of appropriate, state-of-the-art hearing technology to obtain maximum benefits of auditory stimulation;
- Guide and coach parents to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing spoken language;
- Guide and coach parents to become the primary facilitators of their child’s listening and spoken language development through active consistent participation in individualized Auditory-Verbal Therapy;
- Guide and coach parents to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language throughout the child’s daily activities;
- Guide and coach parents to help their child integrate listening and spoken language into all aspects of the child’s life;
- Guide and coach parents to use natural developmental patterns of audition, speech, language, cognition, and communication;
- Guide and coach parents to help their child self-monitor spoken language through listening;
- Administer ongoing formal and informal diagnostic assessments to develop individualized Auditory-Verbal treatment plans, to monitor progress, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans for the child and family; and
- Promote education in regular school with peers who have typical hearing and with appropriate services from early childhood onwards.
Times Photo by Ken Helle
Auditory-Verbal Therapy prognosis typically depends on the age at identification, parent involvement, and if there are any additional disorders or diagnosis that the child exhibits. Therapy can range from 1 year, to several years working with a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) to improve your child’s communication skills. Therapy is non-invasive and a fun experience as it is rarely about drill and rather, utilizes every day routines, social play, as well as songs and nursery rhymes to improve your child’s ability to listen, and learn through listening.
Parents are expected to participate in this therapy path, as they are ultimately their child’s greatest asset in improving their communication skills. Your LSLS will work with you closely in therapy as well as outside of the therapy room to ensure your comfort with improving your child’s skills as well as your appropriate implementation of learned strategies and techniques in therapy. It truly is a team effort, with your LSLS as the coach, and you and your child as the players with the goal being for your child to be able to participate in and thrive in a typical home or classroom environment through listening.
If you are interested in pursuing Auditory-Verbal therapy for your child with hearing loss, please don’t hesitate to contact the North Hills ENT-Speech Therapy Center to schedule your evaluation with our Speech-Language Pathologist today! 817-595-3700
(Houston, T. (2012, March 29). Auditory-Verbal Therapy: Supporting Listening and Spoken Language in Young Children with Hearing Loss & Their Families. Retrieved October 20, 2015, from http://blog.asha.org/2012/03/29/auditory-verbal-therapy-supporting-listening-and-spoken-language-in-young-children-with-hearing-loss-their-families/ )
North Hills ENT and Anderson Audiology have several convenient locations for Speech Therapy!
North Hills ENT – 817-595-3700
4351 Booth Calloway Road, Ste. 308
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
North Hills ENT– 817-595-3700
647 S. Great Southwest Pkwy., Ste. 103
Grand Prairie, TX 75051
Anderson Audiology – 817-282-8402
1550 Norwood Drive, Suite 100
Hurst, TX 76054