Hearing devices (hearing aids or cochlear implants) provide the tools a child with hearing loss needs to hear; they do not restore hearing. Given that these babies have a hearing loss, they need to be taught to draw meaning from the new sounds that they now hear. As their attention is drawn to sound, they detect new sounds which hitherto were inaudible and with guidance and enthusiasm, begin to enjoy the world of Sound. However, these children must be taught to listen.
Auditory-Verbal Therapy is the methodology that guides and coaches parents to raise their child with hearing loss to understand spoken language and talk via listening alone.
Auditory-Verbal Therapy sessions at Sound Steps guide families to instil the habit of listening in their baby or young child. The baby is guided to listen to the sounds of his or her environment (e.g. the whistle of the pressure cooker that signals that his or her meal is cooked) but more importantly the baby’s attention will be guided to the voices of those he or she loves. Each session lasts an hour and is by appointment only. Individualised sessions at Sound Steps begin even before the baby’s hearing aids are fitted. Sound Steps recognises that in order for baby to feel happy and secure, parents need to settle into a routine that best suits their baby and family situation. They may wish to change their baby’s sleep schedule or mealtimes may be a struggle. These early sessions at Sound Steps focus on helping families become more comfortable and confident handling their baby and in establishing a daily routine appropriate to his or her development and family situation.
Every Auditory-Verbal session at Sound Steps is tailored to the current level of functioning of the child. Together, families play, sing, read and chat with their child, as targets in the five areas of Audition, Language, Cognition, Speech and Communication are inter-woven seamlessly through these activities. The LSLS professional allows for sufficient time for Parent Guidance during which time families share the week’s events, ask questions, voice concerns and discuss weekly targets. Families are guided on how to develop each of these targets at home during the course of the week, within the security of their home, in abundance and with variety. Auditory-Verbal therapy sessions at Sound Steps take families out of structured contexts to the exciting, unpredictable, open-set reality of everyday living. Families quickly learn to capitalise on family meal-times for the wonderful opportunities they offer to develop conversational competence in their child. Once achieved, it is time to graduate from Sound Steps and celebrate their independence!
To book an appointment at Sound Steps, fill this form.
Audiology measures and manages your baby’s hearing loss so that he or she can listen to spoken language from close, from a distance, in quiet and in noise.