Auditory Verbal Therapy


Liz Hamilton discusses AV therapy, a technique for stimulating the listening part of the brain, the auditory cortex.

■ We adapt each session to the child.

For deaf children to listen, they need optimum technology like hearing aids or cochlear implants, and they also need the technology to stimulate the listening part of the brain, the auditory cortex, as early as possible, ideally before three and half years old. This is what AV therapy does. It is not about teaching the child in that one fortnightly session, but about working in partnership with the family and supporting the parents or caregivers by teaching them techniques they can integrate into their everyday lives. This is where the real learning happens. AV therapy empowers families and gives them skills to support their child’s development. This continues even when the AV therapy sessions have finished.

Every session is individual. It doesn’t have to focus on a specific toy, book or game. There are no worksheets. Auditory Verbal Therapists adapt each and every session to the child and family and where we are that day. This is also particularly evident in the increasing use of telepractice—therapy sessions delivered online. These sessions have many benefits as the families and the children are often more comfortable in their home environment. As a therapist you can’t rely on using your favourite toys or games as it will depend on what the family has at home. The focus is much more on coaching skills and activities are based around the child’s routines and interests. Families can see how the strategies they develop in the sessions can become part of daily life and they don’t have to set time aside to complete “therapy” activities.

The benefits of AV therapy are clear. Eight out of ten deaf children who attend an Auditory Verbal therapy programme for at least two years achieve spoken language skills on a par with their hearing peers and many attend mainstream school, and all children with additional needs double their rate of language on the programme.

Liz Hamilton
Author: Liz Hamilton

Liz Hamilton
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Auditory Verbal Therapist AVUK provides AV therapy training for families with deaf children and professionals working with deaf children.

X: @AuditoryVerbal
Facebook: @AuditoryVerbalUK
Instagram: @auditoryverbaluk
LinkedIn: @auditory-verbal-uk


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