Graduation: When Do We Finish with Therapy?

Long ago, many children with hearing loss received “speech therapy” well into their teen years and beyond.  Thanks to newborn hearing screening, early intervention, and great hearing technology, the world is changing!  Now, we find ourselves asking, “When is a child with hearing loss ready to graduate from auditory-verbal therapy?”  More correctly, because therapy is a family affair, we should really ask, “When is a family ready to graduate from AVT?”

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I Do Not Run a Pet Shop: Dogs, Parrots, and Auditory Verbal Therapy

Helping a child with hearing loss learn to listen and talk can be a lot of fun, but when the going gets tough, it’s easy to slip into patterns that we think are helping us but are really pushing us further from our goal.  Parents and professionals can be equally guilty of these bad habits.  What are they and how can we prevent them and lead to real, lasting language growth?  Let’s start with a trip to the pet shop…

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The Auditory Feedback Loop

What is the Auditory Feedback Loop?  Have you ever had a cold and had the experience of not being able to hear your own voice clearly, or been so stuffed up that you couldn’t say certain sounds (“my mom” becomes “by bob”)?  Have you ever caught yourself using a word you didn’t mean to in conversation and repeating the sentence to correct yourself?  If you have, you have experienced the Auditory Feedback Loop (AFL).  Listening to, processing, and correcting our own speech and language is an important part of being a good communicator.  How can we help children with hearing loss develop this skill?

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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. 

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WEBINAR 4/30/2015: Beginning with Babies: Hearing Technology, Family Counseling, and Early Language Development





UPDATE 4/17/2015:  Registration is now full.  Due to the high level of interest in this program, we may be offering an encore of the webinar in May.  Stay tuned!


UPCOMING EVENTS: Free Webinars for Parents and Professionals

I am excited to be partnering with some great organizations this spring to give two FREE webinars for parents and professionals.  Both events also offer 1CE credit from the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language.  See below for more information and links to register for the courses.

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Cooking Up Therapy

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?

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Plateaus, Valleys, Plains and Mountains: Measuring Progress

We know that getting a cochlear implant is not an instant fix.  Speech, language, and listening skills do not magically appear after activation, and progress is on everyone’s minds.  How does progress happen?  How much is enough?  How fast?  What should we do if things aren’t working out as planned?  

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Testing, Testing…

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…

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Big Goals for Big Kids

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?

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