Auditory-Verbal Practice facilitates optimal acquisition of spoken language through listening by newborns, infants, toddlers, and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This approach to language development requires that infants and young children with hearing loss are taught to listen and talk with the use of hearing technology such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. Auditory-Verbal Practice promotes early diagnosis, one-on-one therapy, and state-of-the-art audiologic management and technology. Parents and caregivers are supported in their role as the child’s most important teacher of language, and the goal is for the child to attend mainstream education. 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 throughout life. Auditory-Verbal therapy must be conducted in adherence to all 10 Principles LSLS of Auditory-Verbal Therapy. (adapted from www.agbellacademy.org)
Auditory-Verbal Intervention is provided by Listening and Spoken Language Specialists (LSLS) who are either Certified Auditor-Verbal therapists, Cert AVT or Certified Auditor-Verbal educators, Cert AVEd. Take the course Auditory-Verbal Intervention In Schools to learn more about how this intervention supports students who are deaf or hard of hearing in mainstream schools.
- The objective of the Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach is to teach hearing impaired children to use whatever usable hearing they have in order to acquire speech & language.
- Auditory Verbal Therapy is a process of developing language which gives hearing impaired children the tools to develop speech and auditory skills.
- The therapy operates on the principle that usable hearing is common to 95% of all hearing impaired children.
- With powerful hearing aids or cochlear implants and continual stimulation of sounds, these children can learn to listen.
- Babies with normal hearing learn to communicate by becoming aware of sound, mimicking the sounds they hear and, through interacting with family members, learn that sounds have meaning.
- Hearing impaired babies can learn language in the same way but they need to be taught how to become aware of sound. This is what Auditory Verbal Therapy does – it teaches them how to listen.
- The approach is parent-centred and the auditory-verbal therapist’s main tasks are to assess the hearing and language capabilities of the child and to teach the parent/ caregiver to encourage the child’s emerging skills in listening, speech & language.
- Hearing impaired children who learn to listen and speak have the opportunity of being integrated into regular classes in their neighbourhood schools, learning alongside their hearing peers.
- Research conducted by the Central Institute For The Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri, compared reading levels of 169 deaf students in auditory programs and 158 similarly disabled students in a total communications program which incorporates sign language with speech.
- It was found that the auditory students at age 16 were reading at a 13-14 year old level, while the total communication students were only reading at the level of 8-9 year old. As reading levels are important indicators of one’s ability to understand and learn, these findings are particularly significant.
- Children who receive Auditory-Verbal Therapy can pursue their education within regular schools, become fully integrated into the hearing world and ultimately reach their full potential.
To read more about the principles of Auditory-Verbal Therapy, check out the AG Bell web site at http://www.agbellacademy.org/principal-auditory.html