The hearing and speech therapists at HEAR In Dallas are trained in Auditory-Verbal Therapy as well as other aural rehabilitation and speech-language remediation procedures. Our goal is to optimize each person’s verbal communication skills so they can integrate into the hearing-speaking mainstream of society when possible. Many children and adults have other delays and disorders in addition to hearing loss. At HEAR In Dallas, we work with all types of conditions that contribute to the communication process and adapt our treatment to the individual.
Auditory-Verbal Practice is a comprehensive form of management that assists deaf and hard of hearing individuals in learning to understand spoken language through their hearing sense and acquire clear, intelligible speech when possible. Modern hearing technologies and sophisticated therapeutic procedures make this a viable option for most children with hearing loss. Following the fitting of appropriate hearing technologies, the child and parents engage in individualized therapy sessions with a specially trained speech and hearing professional. The style of therapy and parent education is designed to replicate many of the teaching behaviors used by mothers worldwide as they teach their normally hearing babies and young children to understand and produce speech. These powerful, instinctive techniques are effective with most children with hearing loss and facilitate the unfolding of the normal developmental processes of hearing and speaking. Because advanced hearing technologies give deaf children access to hearing the voices of their parents, siblings and others, they usually are able to learn to understand and speak the language of their home. Most children born with hearing loss can learn to use their hearing with the help of hearing aids, cochlear implants and/or auditory brainstem implants. With a caring and skilled Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist, parents participate with their child in therapy and learn skills from the therapist during every session. Well-educated in how to meet their child’s communication needs, parents integrate the teaching techniques and help their child learn to talk throughout their loving interactions at home.
As the child learns to hear and talk, the therapist coaches the parent in teaching approaches that continually advance the child’s language skills. As the child progresses in talking, the therapist teaches the parent how to prepare the child for future academic success. Therapists also educate parents to select the best school for their child and help their child succeed in the regular mainstreamed classroom. Additional parent education assists parents in helping their child foster satisfying friendships with extended family members and hearing peers.
At HEAR In Dallas, we support the following Principles of Auditory-Verbal Practice:
- Early diagnosis of hearing loss
- Early fitting of appropriate hearing technologies
- Aggressive audiological management and maintenance of the hearing technologies
- Individualized therapy sessions
- Integrating parents and caregivers into therapy to build competency in teaching their child to hear and speak
- Therapy goals and teaching strategies that foster the normal and natural processes of listening, speech and language development
- Speech acquisition through an auditory feedback system based in the child’s hearing sense
- Socialization and education of the child within the hearing-speaking mainstream
Some children with hearing loss and communication disorders have greater challenges. Many in this group do not have the cognitive, muscular or neurological ability to acquire speech. For these children, the therapists strive to develop the child’s hearing sense and use augmentative and alternative means of expression. These may include the use of communication systems and technologies and/or sign language. Decisions are based on parental choice and the child’s needs and abilities.
Our work with adults with hearing loss:
We welcome adults and seniors into the HEAR In Dallas family. Many adults with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants participate in our hearing and speech therapy services. We provide listening therapy and if needed, speech therapy, and therapy for spoken and written language. The spouses and adult children of the adults we serve are encouraged to attend and participate in the therapy process. The therapists teach the family members to do listening practice at home with the individual to support the goals set by the therapist. With solid support at home or with friends, progress is enhanced and the people in the individual’s daily life grow in their understanding of their loved ones communication needs.
Our place on your healthcare team:
We prefer to work in conjunction with a team of healthcare professionals when indicated. Many children and adults with hearing loss receive care from physicians, audiologists, occupational and physical therapists, teachers and others. Patient care is enhanced when everybody shares information and coordinates the patient’s goals.