Auditory Verbal Therapy: What is it?

What is Auditory Verbal Therapy?

Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT), also called Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) intervention is committed to teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk.

The LSL approach teaches a child spoken language through listening. Babies with normal hearing learn by listening to the speech and spoken language of their parents, caregivers, and family members. Little brains are built to learn spoken language in this way – its developmental. Children with hearing loss can learn spoken language the same way when they are identified early, have appropriate hearing devices, and are taught to listen through special LSL techniques. LSL is a developmental approach which follows typical child milestones by introducing skills at the ages and stages when little brains are primed to learn. Auditory Verbal therapy is a highly specialist early intervention programme that can start at any age of your child, effective early intervention needs to occur as early as possible and ideally within the first 3 and a half years.

How the sessions work?

Through play-based therapy sessions, parents are given the tools – Auditory Verbal techniques and strategies – to develop their child’s listening and spoken language. Auditory Verbal therapy enables parents to help their child to make the best possible use of his or her hearing technology and equips parents to check and troubleshoot it in collaboration with their audiology team. This will maximise a child’s access to sound so that listening and spoken language skills can be developed to the fullest extent possible.

Through play-based sessions the child develops a listening attitude so that paying attention to the sound around him or her becomes automatic. Hearing and listening become an integral part of communication, play, education and eventually work. All learning from the sessions carries over into daily life. This means that at home, parents can make everyday activities such as feeding, playing, setting the table or reading a story into a fun listening and learning opportunity.

Auditory Verbal Therapy in the world:

Since 2005, the AG Bell Academy has worked to increase the number of certified auditory-verbal practitioners (denoted as LSLS Cert. AVT and LSLS Cert. AVEd) so that children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families will have access to qualified professionals in their immediate geographic area. The AG Bell Academy is an independently governed, subsidiary corporation of The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing based in Washington D.C.

Auditory Verbal therapy is government-funded in Australia and Denmark and is a mainstream approach in Canada and the United States. There are 938 Certified LSL Specialists worldwide, 683 Certified LSL Specialists in the United States, 255 Certified LSL Specialists in the other countries.

Who Am I?

I am a certified LSL specialist. I am Italian and I live in Glasgow. I have been working with deaf children and their families for 20 years, I am a speech and language therapist by training, I graduated and worked in Italy for 13 years as part of Paediatric Audiology teams.

What children can achieve nowadays through LSL is remarkable and I wanted to be part of that change, so, 5 years ago I moved to the UK and began training with AVUK to become a LSLS. After 5 years of training in December 2019, I passed my exam and now, with immense joy, I am the only Italian and the only in Scotland to be LSLS Cert. AVT.

How do I work?

Sessions occur at your home or through Teletherapy (Skype - Zoom - Team-)

1.The first consultation is by phone, email or Skype and is free of charge. Gaining some information about your child’s history, we will then discuss your goals and the next steps in what we can achieve. It is important that you tell me about your child, what he or she likes, his or her favourite toy and what you like to do together.

2. Before each session we will set goals and agree which toys are needed.

3. During the session I will coach and guide you how to use strategies and how to observe your child's responses, while you are playing together.

4.After the session we will write down the Take home messages. These are a few key points you will carry over into your everyday life.

5. Sessions take place weekly, fortnightly or monthly. (to be decided with the family)

6. I will write a six month goals program, so everyone knows what we are aiming for.

7. It is important to liaise with the school and all the professionals involved in order to maximise results. We will do this through regular meetings and emails.

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