Speech Therapy for Children with Hearing Loss

Successful outcomes for children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) are possible when hearing-assistive technology is accompanied by specialized training in listening and spoken language (LSL). One key component of this training is regular speech therapy.

Speech therapy for children with hearing loss covers a wide variety of critical elements and ensures that your child will have every opportunity to effectively communicate in a hearing world.

Key Components of Speech Therapy

As a child works toward his/her LSL goals, regular speech therapy sessions are a necessity to help develop essential skills. These meetings take place with a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) or SLP assistant (SLPA). 

For children who are DHH, speech therapy can help improve a number of characteristics, including:

  • Sound Development - Hearing sounds and repeating those sounds through speech.
  • Articulation - Producing clear and coherent sounds and words with speech.
  • Grammatical Structures - Using the appropriate word endings to produce clear and appropriate sentences. 

Some objectives take on enhanced importance for children with hearing loss. These topics can include:

  • Self-Advocacy - Communicating needs pertaining to hearing-assistive technology or sound quality.
  • Reading/Listening Comprehension - Hearing instructions or a story, understanding the explained concepts, and answering questions or completing directives.
  • Listening in Background Noise - Being able to listen and follow directions in the presence of ambient noise.
  • Increasing Vocabulary for Expressive and Receptive Language

These skills can begin to be developed shortly after birth, with age and present level performance determining the depth of instruction. Speech therapists use games, books, objects, toys and pictures in their exercises to encourage participation and practice from the child. 

Speech Therapy at CCHAT

A hallmark of CCHAT’s ongoing service model is one-on-one speech therapy sessions for each student for a minimum of 30 minutes, four days a week. This vital time with a SLP optimizes the development of LSL skills. Students also attend pragmatic group therapy once a week.

All CCHAT speech therapy sessions are led by a professional SLP or SLPA who has in-depth knowledge of LSL and develops lessons individualized to each student’s needs. Currently, the CCHAT SLP team includes five SLPs and three SLPAs, all of whom are guided by SLP Coordinator Lisa McWilliams. Parents are encouraged to regularly attend speech sessions to glean tips they can use to ensure carryover learning at home.

To enhance LSL development, CCHAT’s team of speech therapists and classroom teachers work in collaboration to consistently evaluate and adapt their lessons to meet the needs of each specific student. This open line of communication enables CCHAT staff members to craft an optimal, comprehensive educational plan going forward that spurs further development during speech therapy sessions.

Building a Foundation of Communication

The goal of speech therapy for children with hearing loss is to build a foundation of LSL skills. Children work to master key concepts and because of this development, they are able to communicate confidently both inside and outside of the classroom. CCHAT stresses the importance of speech therapy everyday on campus. To learn more about CCHAT’s wide-ranging services available to students who are DHH, visit our PROGRAMS page.

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