Thanks to the improved technology in hearing aids and the availability of the cochlear implant, 95% of deaf and hearing impaired children can have access to sound. And with the right therapy, these children can learn to listen and to speak clearly and naturally like their hearing peers. This therapy is Auditory-Verbal Therapy.
LSLS Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists originally known as Auditory-Verbal Therapy was developed by Helen Hulick Beebe, an internationally-known speech-language pathologist and an educator of deaf people. It is used to enable deaf and hearing impaired children with a cochlear implant or hearing aid to listen and speak to enable them to fully participate in mainstream society. Auditory-Verbal Therapy is the therapy that is used when parents want their deaf or hearing impaired child to communicate with spoken language.
LSLS professionals focus on education, guidance, advocacy, family support and the rigorous application of techniques, strategies and procedures that promote optimal acquisition of spoken language through listening by newborns, infants, toddlers and children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
LSLS professionals guide and coach families to help their children develop spoken language through listening, and help them advocate for their children¹s inclusion in mainstream schools. Ultimately, parents gain confidence that their children will have access to a full range of educational, social and vocational choices in life.
The principals of Auditory-Verbal Therapy include:
- Early detection: Early detection programmes and initiation of Auditory-Verbal instruction upon diagnosis of the hearing loss.
- Appropriate amplification: The child will learn to listen and speak through maximising their residual hearing with amplification technology.
- Parental participation: Parent participation is vital to the success of Auditory-Verbal Therapy for two reasons: parents are the natural teachers of their child’s language and the parents are always with their child so can be constantly encouraging language development.
- Listening to speak: The child learns to speak through listening to natural sounding speech. Correct spoken models of language are crucial to teaching the child to monitor his/her vocalisations. Visual cues are not encouraged.
- Assessment: Monitoring and evaluating the development of listening skills as an integral part of the development process.
- Integration result: Appropriate amplification and Auditory-Verbal Therapy enables children with a hearing loss to develop auditory receptive skills (understanding language) in the short term that will translate via medium outcomes, such as attending mainstream school, into greater social independence and quality of life.
The Hearing House Auditory-Verbal programme is delivered by LSLS Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists. The AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language offers the LSLS certification to qualified professionals who meet rigorous academic, professional, post-graduate education and mentoring requirements, and who pass the LSLS certification exam as well as 80 hours theory and an additional 1200 practicum hours. LSLS certified professionals must recertify every two years by fulfilling at least 15 verified instructional hours of educational activities within the nine LSLS domains of knowledge.