Auditory-verbal therapy is a method for teaching deaf children to listen and speak using their residual hearing in addition to the constant use of amplification devices such as hearing aids, FM devices, and cochlear implants. Auditory-verbal therapy emphasizes speech and listening.
Auditory verbal therapy enables deaf and hard of hearing children to participate more fully in mainstream school and hearing society.
WHO PROVIDES AUDITORY VERBAL SERVICES?
Certified Auditory-Verbal therapists are specially trained for this. Some therapists are not certified but do follow the principles of AVT and have received specialized training in its approach. Talking to a prospective therapist will let you know his or her beliefs and practices; meeting children and parents from various programs will help you assess the appropriateness of a program for your child.
THE PRINCIPLES OF AUDITORY-VERBAL THERAPY
- 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.
SOME OF THE TECHNIQUES
• Wait for a child to process and respond to a verbal cue rather than repeating it.
• Proved the child with correct language models through parental example.
• Use acoustic highlighting to help children with understanding and using language.
• Although the use of visual cues is discouraged, hand signals can be used to indicate when it is time for the child to listen and when it is time to speak.
• Unnecessary auditory clutter is avoided thus only one person speaks at a time.
• Identification and use of the side where the hearing is strongest.
BENEFIT OF AUDITORY-VERBAL THERAPY
The benefit of AVT for people with hearing loss who have been taught as children to learn to listen and speak are independent, better able to self advocate and can more fully participate in the hearing world. They are able to develop theory of mind from an early age and can relate to people with typical hearing by understanding the emotions and the behaviors of others.
The emphasis on audition allows them to develop clear speech as they can self-monitor their own production through listening. As a child develops spoken language through listening, their reading skills also develop, because reading is an auditory skill.
A PARENT’S GUIDE: AGES 0-6
Normal Speech and Language Development
Encourage speech and language!
¨ Talk naturally with your child, speaking without exaggerated facial (particularly mouth and tongue) movements and without the use of sign language.
¨ Emphasize the sounds of speech used with your child in the way that mothers do with hearing infants who are learning to talk (motherese).
¨ Understand normal child language and speech development
¨ Take turns in therapy to give your child time to process what was said and time to respond.
¨ Encourage your child to use babbling and jargon as normal hearing infants do.
Point out behaviors that indicate that your child is using sound for learning.
¨ Note to you the evidence that your child perceived some aspect of a speech or other sound signal whenever your child makes an auditory response.
¨ Help your child know that you expect a response to sound.
¨ Allow your child time to respond to sound. (PAUSE TIME)
IMPORTANCE OF AUDITORY-VERBAL THERAPY
1.When aided properly, children with even profound hearing losses can detect, most if not all, speech.
2.Children learn language most effectively through consistent and continual, meaningful learning interactions in a supportive environment.
3.As verbal language develops, with audition, reading skills can also develop.
4.Parents in AVT programs do not need to learn sign language.
5.AVT uses and encourages the maximum use of hearing, and stresses listening rather than watching.
6.AVT uses a team approach to therapy that allows for a more complete education environment.
7.A child who has a hearing impairment need not automatically be a visual learner ( i.e. sign language), rather he/she can learn how to be an auditory learner.