Cheryl L. Dickson, M.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVT, Auditory-Verbal Consultancy
Helen M. Morrison, Ph.D., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT
Mary Boucher Jones, M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, Listen and Learn Auditory-Verbal Communication Center, Inc.
To become a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, professionals must undergo (at least) three years of mentored practice under the guidance of a current LSLS. During the course of their mentorship, LSLS candidates are observed for a number of sessions each year of the training, and receive coaching and guidance with the goal of mastering Auditory-Verbal strategies and successfully completing the requirements and examination to become a LSLS certified provider. Cheryl Dickson, Helen Morrison, and Mary Boucher Jones are the authors of The Mentor’s Guide to Auditory-Verbal Competencies, a terrific resource to assist Listening and Spoken Language Specialists who are coaching other professionals toward the LSLS certification. The guide is available free for download HERE (scroll down, it is the second item on the page). The presenters led session attendees through an explanation of how they developed the guide, hands-on exercises for mentors in assessing mentee video clips using goals in the guide, writing personal action plans for mentees,
The presenters noted that mentoring is a unique personal relationship, as adults each have their own learning styles, and are independent, self-directing learners. Mentorship is a two-way agreement, and the learning is two-sided as well — mentees and mentors often have a lot to learn from each other! The goal of mentoring is not to create “clones” of the mentor, but rather to empower mentees to master skills to become professionals in their own right. It is also a responsibility of LSLS professionals to contribute to the future of the profession by holding high standards for LSLS candidates instead of creating a checklist or rubber-stamping the process. The families we serve deserve the highest level of quality service provision, one that will only be achieved by having highly trained, knowledgeable, compassionate clinicians in the field.
The Mentor’s Guide to Auditory-Verbal Competencies breaks down the skills of a qualified LSLS into the domains of: Planning, Session, Audition, Spoken Language and Speech Production, Literacy, Parent Coaching, Assessment and Reporting, Inclusion, and Professional Qualities. Each topic has various subskills that are broken down in a progression of expectations for performance of candidates in year one, year two, and year three of their mentorship experience, allowing mentors to identify current strengths as well has have a springboard for goal-writing for future growth. The guide can be downloaded in its entirety or broken down by year one, two, or three. It is an excellent tool to assist mentors and mentees in getting the most out of the mentorship experience, as well as ensuring the future of Listening and Spoken Language Specialists by providing rigorous, comprehensive mentoring in auditory-verbal skills.