There are many different definitions for the word “deaf” — the medical definition, the cultural definition, the audiological definition. But I’d like to propose another one. A reDEAFinition, if you will…
It is so exciting to read about people with hearing loss in the news accomplishing great things. Academic award winners, artists, actors, athletes — their stories raise public awareness about hearing loss and dispel stereotypes about people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Conversely, there are those people with hearing loss who struggle mightily — never achieving age-appropriate language abilities, falling behind in school, or failing to find employment. With such a broad spectrum of outcomes for people with hearing loss, how do we make sense of it all?
Are you a parent considering Auditory Verbal Therapy for your child? Are you a professional considering pursing Listening and Spoken Language Specialist certification? Are you a speech-language pathologist with deaf children on your caseload? Are you a teacher of the deaf looking to brush up on your spoken language strategies? This webinar is for YOU!
Enjoy this recording of my 3/25/2015 webinar for the Cochlear HOPE series, “The Catch-Up Game: Working with Children Who Receive Cochlear Implants Late.” Click CC in the lower right corner for captions.
When I tell people that my job is teaching children with hearing loss to listen and talk without the use of sign language, it usually stops people in their tracks for a minute. The first question I usually get is, “How?” which leads to a whole discussion about the auditory brain. The second most frequently asked question is, “So you teach lipreading, right?” Not exactly…
One of my favorite things to do as an Auditory Verbal Therapist is to meet with families of newly identified children for their initial evaluation. It’s such a privilege for me to be able to walk alongside families as they take their first tentative steps into the world of hearing loss. Thanks to universal newborn hearing screening, the families I see often have children who are just a few months old. These families are dealing with not only the typical new parent emotions, exhaustion, and joy, but also the added shock of realizing that their baby has a hearing loss. And on top of all that, they’re faced with the monumental question, “How do you want your child to communicate?”
Even parents who have chosen a listening and spoken language outcome for their children often ask, “Should we use baby signs?” just to fill the gap during the time from identification to cochlear implantation, or identification to those first spoken words. If you’re to believe the media hype, every parent, those of children with and without hearing loss, is doing it. So what could be the problem?
On day two at the school, I started by learning some great new songs that I can’t wait to bring back and modify for English speakers! Then, I observed a reading lesson. It was very clear to me how much the teachers cared for their students, but it was equally clear that there are many factors stacked against them in their quest to teach these students to listen and talk.