You may have heard that your words have the power to grow your child’s brain and that children who are successful in kindergarten have heard far more words in their first years than their less successful peers. All of this is true, but it’s not just the number of words that matters… the richness and quality of those words is important, too!
Did you know that babies practice talking long before they say their first words. This week’s tip, BABBLE MATTERS, is about the importance of baby’s coos and goos. As it turns out, goo goo ga ga isn’t just adorable, it’s the foundation for later language success.
Join me for the 2016 AV Challenge! Each week for the next four weeks, I’ll be posting a research-based tip that parents and caregivers can use to help their children with hearing loss develop listening and spoken language skills.
An Auditory Verbal Therapist wears many hats: insurance company negotiator, toy cleaner, language sample transcriber, amateur children’s literature critic… and sometimes an actual funny hat or two in a game of dress up. And though I think I look spectacular in a princess tiara, my two favorite roles, the ones I’m most honored to have, are those of Guide and Coach to the families who honor me by allowing me to be a part of their child’s team.
There are some families who are a joy to work with. They show up on time, their children always have their hearing technology on and working, they read to their children, never miss an appointment, and bring you treats for the holidays. There are others who make professionals want to pull their hair out. Chronically late or absent, hearing aids always in disrepair, unmotivated, nonparticipatory, it seems as if these parents just don’t want their children to succeed. Are these just “bad parents”? Would their children be better off spending less time with their parents and more time with us, the professionals, who can help them learn to listen and talk?
If a child with hearing loss is scoring at or above the level expected for her hearing peers, it’s time to celebrate (and graduate)! But why does this seemingly joyful milestone cause so much anxiety for parents and professionals? Why do children who are “doing well” still struggle sometimes, and what can be done about it?
There are many benefits of music, theater, art, and dance education for all. Arts education is linked to improved focus and behavior, academic achievement, higher SAT scores, and a host of other benefits. The positive cognitive, creative, physical, social effects are undeniable. But what about arts education for children with hearing loss?
Behavior is a tricky, touchy subject. Every family parents differently and has different experiences, expectations, and emotions regarding how best to help children learn to behave within the norms of their family and culture. Usually, parents are the primary disciplinarians, the ones setting the standards for their children and dealing with the tantrums, disagreements, and power struggles that are a normal part of growing up. But when a child’s behavior needs spill over into a therapy session, how can professionals and parents partner for success?
Do you remember choosing teams in middle school gym class or for games of pickup basketball on the playground? With my short height, lack of coordination, and two left feet, I’ll admit, I was usually chosen last! Fortunately, as an adult, I’ve had the privilege to be chosen for a very different kind of team: the team that parents and families choose to help them achieve their goals for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
One common question I hear about children who are deaf but listen and speak with the help of hearing technology is, “But what will he do when the cochlear implant [or hearing aid, or Baha] is off?” What about bath time, swimming time, night time? What if a battery dies or equipment malfunctions? Are those reasons enough to learn sign language? Continue reading →