Cooking is a great thing to do in therapy for many reasons. It’s a hands-on, multi-sensory experience that most children really enjoy. Making food is part of any child’s everyday routine, it’s engaging, and you get to eat the fruits of your labor! What’s not to like? If you’re stuck in a therapy rut, or just looking for something new to do, why not move your lesson into the kitchen (or bring the kitchen into your therapy room) and cook up some great speech, language, and listening fun?
Testing and evaluations bring up many emotions in parents and children alike. Used well, a comprehensive evaluation provides a measure of the child’s progress and a road map for the way forward. But how are you supposed to untangle the web of jargon and questions surrounding your child’s testing? Let’s discuss…
A lot of attention in the AVT world is focused on infants and toddlers — detecting hearing loss at birth, fitting them hearing technology ASAP, and getting their families off to a running start with listening and spoken language early intervention. When all goes well, many of these children can be fully mainstreamed from preschool and have no need for further therapy. That’s the ideal. It happens for many children, but not all. What about children who are identified as toddlers, or implanted late, or have other complicating factors that lead to slower than expected speech and language progress? What happens when little kids become big kids who still need intervention?
Due to family schedules, it’s usually the same parent or caregiver who is able to attend therapy with the child each week. Each session, this “present parent” receives coaching, modeling, and guidance in becoming their child’s first and best teacher. In a two-parent family, how do we as therapists also provide this same level of support and learning to the “other parent,” the one who isn’t present in the therapy session each week?
Psychologist Lev Vygotsky is credited with identifying the concept of the “Zone of Proximal Development.” This “ZPD” is the area between what a learner can do without help and what a learner can do with help — that is, it’s the zone where growth and learning really happen. Zone of Proximal Development sounds impressive, but for me, I like to think of it as the “Just Right Challenge.”
Hearing is an incredible gift, and one that people with hearing loss and their families do not take for granted. Here are some ideas for how to make your “Hearing Birthday” (the anniversary of your/your child’s CI activation or the day you/your child received HAs or Baha) special.
When you meet someone new, one of the first questions we tend to ask is, “What do you do?” When I tell people that I teach children with hearing loss to listen and speak, it’s a real conversation starter. Here are some of my most frequently asked questions about hearing loss, hearing technology, and Auditory Verbal Therapy. What are yours?
One of the most common questions I hear from parents is, “My child does XYZ. Is this due to the hearing loss?” I’ve heard all kinds of things — from the obvious (having difficulty hearing in noise) to the off-the-wall (preferring a certain food) — attributed to the child’s hearing loss. What drives this, and how can we help parents figure out if it’s a “kid thing” or a “hearing loss thing”?
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?
Can you believe that August is here already and it’s time to start thinking about getting back into the school routine? The beginning of the school year is an exciting time, but it can also be filled with anxiety on the part of parents, students with hearing loss, and school staff. How will other students react to my child’s cochlear implants? How can I best teach a child with hearing loss in my classroom? How can I give my students the skills they need to build strong peer relationships? How can I keep track of my child’s hearing equipment at school? How do I write a strong IEP?