Definition of Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT)
It is a specialized type of therapy designed to teach a child to use the hearing provided by a hearing aid or a cochlear implant for understanding speech and learning to talk. The child is taught to develop hearing as an active sense so that listening becomes automatic and the child seeks out sounds in life. Hearing and active listening become an integral part of communication, recreation, socialization, education, and work.
Principles of Auditory-Verbal Therapy
- To detect hearing impairment as early as possible through screening programs, ideally in the newborn nursery and throughout childhood.
- To pursue prompt and aggressive audiological management and maintenance of appropriate aids (hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc.).
- To guide, counsel, and support parents and caregivers as the primary models for spoken language development and to help them understand the impact of deafness and hearing impairment on the entire family.
- To help children integrate listening into their development of communication and social skills.
- To support children’s auditory-verbal development through one-on-one teaching.
- To help children monitor their own voices and the voices of others in order to enhance the intelligibility of their own speech.
- To use the developmental patterns of listening, language, speech, and cognition to stimulate natural communication.
- To continuously assess and evaluate children’s development and, through diagnostic intervention, modify the program when needed.
- To provide support services to facilitate children’s educational and social inclusion in regular education classes.
From the Auditory Verbal Position Statement
Variables affecting progress and outcomes
- Age at diagnosis
- Cause of hearing impairment
- Degree of hearing impairment
- Effectiveness of amplification devices or a cochlear implant
- Hearing potential of the child
- Health of the child
- Emotional state of the family
- Level of participation of the family
- Skills of the parents or caregiver
- Child's learning style
- Child's intelligence