Families of babies with hearing loss often ask, “Where will my child go to school?” My answer is usually, “Wherever you would have sent her if she didn’t have hearing loss!” Families who were planning on public school can send to public school. Hoping for private or religious education? Go for it! Homeschool your other kids? Why not your child with hearing loss? The whole point of Auditory Verbal Therapy is that children with hearing loss can be integrated into mainstream environments, whatever that looks like for their particular family. So that said, I’ve always had families on my caseload who homeschool their children with hearing loss, but now with the Covid-19 pandemic, families who never in a million years thought about homeschooling are considering this option for their children. Let’s take a look at some options, considerations, and resources to help parents make this choice.
There’s a saying that “Language is caught, not taught.” It would be impossible (and boring for both the adult and child!) to sit down and directly teach a child every word, phrase, or sentence structure he needs to know. It also wouldn’t lead to very natural results. Instead, the best language that children learn is picked up incidentally (indirectly, informally, in the course of daily life). So, how do we make our language more “catchable”?
So often in therapy, I feel that we (professionals) coach parents to use specific techniques (which is great!) and expect them to just do it because we said so (not so great!). This is not to say that therapists are being authoritative, or pushy, or bad in any way, but I do think that we generally tend to assume that if we say it, parents will do it — and the majority do. But why? Other than the rare parent who feels comfortable enough to challenge or question the professionals, I think parents take what we say at face value because there is an enormous power differential between parent and professional.
With so many professionals unexpectedly moving to telepractice in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, I am offering a FREE webinar to help people get started with teletherapy. CLICK HERE to join tomorrow 3/19/2020 at 8PM EST.
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean our brains take a break from growing. Use this printable to remind yourself, your child, or the families you serve to keep up the good work of “feeding their brains”!
Therapists (hopefully!) spend a lot of time carefully planning goals and activities for each Auditory Verbal Therapy session, but professional planning is not enough. Parent coaching is the heart of AVT. It is not enough for you, the professional, to know what’s going on. Parents deserve this information, too! Below, I’ll detail a strategy I came up with called “PAW” that can help you structure your sessions for maximum engagement.
This summer I had the opportunity to present with some incredible friends and colleagues at the 2018 AG Bell Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. Below are PDFs of the slides from our presentations. Enjoy!
When I began studying auditory verbal therapy, one concept I learned was the “equal time pie” or “equal talk time,” — the idea that all three participants in an AVT session (child, parent, and therapist), should each be doing roughly 1/3 of the talking during the session. For years, I tried to self-monitor during my intervention to make sure this was happening. But then I started teaching students about AVT at the university level. After weeks of hearing me drive home the point that families are their children’s first and best teachers, one student raised her hand and asked a question that revolutionized the way I think about sharing talk time in sessions…
As Auditory Verbal Therapists, our job is not to evaluate or judge parents, but rather to guide and coach. How can we best offer feedback that validates families’ effectiveness at helping their children grow?