What Is Listening and Spoken Language?
LSL is based on the understanding that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to speak, listen, read and write with the same fluency as their hearing peers – provided that you intervene early enough.
To accomplish this, we use a sub-discipline of Listening and Spoken Language known as Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT), which emphasizes the 4 principles below:
- Auditory detection – ability to distinguish between the presence and absence of sound
- Auditory discrimination – ability to discern tiny variations between different auditory signals
- Auditory identification – ability to properly “identify” sounds through gestures or spoken language
- Auditory comprehension – ability to understand each sound’s underlying meaning – especially with spoken language
For those with normal hearing, all of these skills emerge organically with little to no training. But for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, carefully structured guidance is essential.
Listening and Spoken Language at CCHAT Center
At our Sacramento campus, we use Listening and Spoken Language instruction to help our young students tie significance and meaning to the sounds they hear – often with the help of hearing aids, cochlear implants and even in-classroom frequency modulation (FM) systems that are designed to further promote active listening.
Our approach to Listening and Spoken Language instruction also places special emphasis on helping children who are deaf or hard of hearing learn to replicate sounds on their own using:
Again, this type of “verbal” imitation is an innate ability that children with normal hearing begin to exhibit naturally around 12 months (regardless of their parents’ native tongue).
This is when babies begin to “talk.”
But children who are deaf or hard of hearing must often be taught to hear their own voice as they try to mimic the words spoken around them. And this guidance is best provided by professionals who are trained in Listening and Spoken Language so that every lesson plan is carefully tailored to the unique needs of each child.
As a parent or caregiver, however, you also play an invaluable role in LSL instruction since you’re one of the primary “teachers” during the earliest stages of your young child’s development.
According to recent research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child,
“When an infant or young child babbles, gestures or cries, and an adult responds appropriately with eye contact, words or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain.”
In the absence of normal hearing, it becomes even more important that you – as a parent or caregiver – play an active role in strengthening these neural connections.
As such, the Listening and Spoken Language lessons learned in school must continue at home in a nurturing environment – complete with exercises, games and repetition built into everyday activities. And this critical role isn’t limited to the academic school year either. As a parent or caregiver, it’s also important that you continue to incorporate LSL activities throughout the summer as well.
Is Listening and Spoken Language Right for Your Child?
LSL is just one of many different communication options out there. But what sets this discipline apart is its heavy emphasis on early intervention and parental involvement.
- Early intervention matters since auditory development begins even while the baby is still in the womb. And the sooner a child is correctly diagnosed with hearing loss and begins receiving guidance, the better his or her chances of leading a successful and happy life.
- Parental involvement is equally important since true learning is a process – not a destination. Every interaction with your child represents another opportunity to help him or her build critical communication skills. This is especially true during the earliest years when the aforementioned neural connections are still forming in your young child’s brain.
Whether Listening and Spoken Language is the best approach for your own child is best determined after consulting with relevant family members, teachers and healthcare professionals (including your child’s audiologist).
But consider the following.
The majority of CCHAT Center graduates go on to attend mainstream school – without needing sign language. That our alumni consistently thrive alongside their hearing peers is a testament to LSL’s effectiveness at helping children who are deaf or hard of hearing master the essential communication skills they’ll need for lifelong success.
Want to Learn More about LSL at CCHAT?
If you’d like to learn more about our approach to Listening and Spoken Language, we invite you to visit our Sacramento campus so you can see (and hear) how our carefully trained staff uses this pedagogical discipline in the classroom.
To get started, schedule a free on-site visit at CCHAT Center (Sacramento) today.