Auditory Verbal Therapy

One of the early intervention options for infants, toddlers, and young children who are fit with hearing aids or for those patients who receive unilateral or bilateral cochlear implants is the Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) approach.

AVT is an auditory-based teaching approach with significant family involvement.

The goal of auditory-based teaching approaches for children with hearing loss, is to teach the family how their child can in fact “learn to listen”; and through learning to listen, develop spoken language.

The 10 principles adapted from Pollack (1970) are as follows:
  1. Promote early diagnosis of hearing loss in new-borns, infants, toddlers, and young children, followed by immediate audiologic management and Auditory-Verbal therapy.
  2. Recommend immediate assessment and use of appropriate state-of-the-art hearing technology to obtain maximum benefits of auditory stimulation.
  3. Guide and coach parents to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing listening and spoken language.
  4. 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.
  5. Guide and coach parents to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language throughout the child’s daily activities.
  6. Guide and coach parents to help their child integrate listening & spoken language into all aspects of the child’s life.
  7. Guide and coach parents to use natural developmental patterns of audition, speech, language, cognition, and communication.
  8. Guide and coach parents to help their child self-monitor spoken language through listening.
  9. 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.
  10. Promote education in regular schools with peers who have typical hearing and with appropriate services from early childhood onwards (A.G. Bell Academy, 2009).
Image
Image
Auditory-based Therapy at Soft Hear Clinic

Patients are first seen for an assessment, and depending on the diagnosis, parental counselling is done. The clinician explains the approaches of the scientific auditory-based therapy program and the resulting outcomes.

If parents are interested, an appointment can be scheduled for Auditory-Verbal or Auditory-Based Therapy sessions.

These 60-minute sessions include the patient and require the active participation of one or more family members in attendance.

Families are “coached” in techniques to maximally stimulate a child’s hearing potential, and in doing so, the development of speech and language typically follows.

A child-friendly space has been developed at Soft Hear Clinic, where each child’s language will be stimulated using toys, materials, and books – which are all utilized in teaching young children with hearing loss to develop spoken language skills and abilities.