We’ve all met “That Kid.” The one who has seemingly endless energy. The one you have to brace yourself for before he enters the room. The one who can never, ever seem to sit still for therapy. What’s a therapist (or parent!) to do?
The child is getting fussy, the parent is getting bored, and the therapist is starting to sweat. It’s time to change activities, and stat. But it’s not as simple as pulling out a new toy. How you make the change makes a big difference.
In the past, I’ve provided a “behind the scenes” look at the anatomy of an AVT session geared toward parents, but what if the responsibility for running the session is on your shoulders? What does it take to actually plan and execute a successful AV session as the therapist?
In a track and field competition, runners race around the track, jumping hurdle after hurdle in an attempt to be the first to the finish line. It’s an incredible sight. When we’re teaching children with hearing loss a new listening, speech, or language skill, however, we’re running a different kind of race. For optimum success, here’s my suggestion: choose just one hurdle.
Children with hearing loss are at particular risk for deficits in vocabulary. Even when children perform within normal limits when compared to hearing peers on other language measures, receptive (understanding) and expressive (using) vocabulary can still lag behind. Limited ability to overhear conversation restricts a child with hearing loss’s ability to pick up incidental vocabulary. Over time, these vocabulary gaps have serious implications in the child’s performance on school subjects like reading comprehension and standardized testing.
How many times have you been humming along in a conversation with a child when suddenly, a simple question stops him in his tracks? Once you get beyond the rote answers to, “What’s your name?” and “How old are you?” many language learners are derailed by novel questions for which they are unprepared. The problem grows when children are asked to answer questions about material they’ve heard or read.
How do we take a new listener from hearing beeps at their cochlear implant activation to enjoying the whole wide world of sound? Well, if you remember how to eat an elephant, it’s not so hard at all! Erber’s Hierarcy, developed by speech scientist Dr. Norman Erber, breaks the listening task into four steps. By guiding children (or new adult listeners) up this “listening ladder,” parents and therapists break the task of learning to listen into more manageable parts.
In the first weeks after your child’s cochlear implant is activated
The big day has finally arrived! Your child’s cochlear implant(s) are finally going to be turned on. After months of appointments and waiting, you may feel as if you’ve made it to the finish line, but you are really at the beginning of the incredible journey of teaching you child to hear.