AVT is an intervention approach for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.
AVT focuses on education, guidance, advocacy, family support, and the rigorous application of techniques, strategies, conditions, and procedures that promote the optimal acquisition of spoken language through listening.
AVT is a parent-centered approach that encourages the use of naturalistic conversation and the use of spoken language to communicate.
AVT Maximizes the use of the child’s aided residual hearing for the detection of sound. The earliest possible identification of hearing loss with the immediate fitting with amplification and prompt intervention helps reduce the extent of language delays commonly associated with hearing impairment.
AVT is based on teaching parents to emphasize residual hearing and interact with their child using the auditory-verbal approach during their child's individual therapy sessions and learn to listen, process verbal language, and speak.
AVT encourages interaction and mainstreaming children from the beginning with normal-hearing peers.
AVT teaches the child to develop self-monitoring skills: The child learns to listen to his/her own voice as well as to others during natural conversations thereby promoting natural voice quality.
Importance of Auditory-Verbal Therapy
When aided properly, children with even profound hearing losses can detect, most if not all, speech.
A child who has a hearing impairment need not automatically be a visual learner (i.e. sign language), rather he/she can learn how to be an auditory learner.
Children learn language most effectively through consistent, continual, meaningful learning interactions in a supportive environment.
As verbal language develops, with audition, reading skills can also develop.
Parents in AVT programs do not need to learn sign language.
AVT uses and encourages the maximum use of hearing, and stresses listening rather than watching.
AVT uses a team approach to therapy that allows for a more complete educational environment.
Who provides Auditory Verbal services?
A. Certified Auditory-Verbal therapists are specially trained for this. Some therapists are not certified but do follow the principles of AVT and have received specialized training in its approach.
Can Auditory-Verbal services be used in conjunction with other methods?
The Auditory-Verbal philosophy is a set of principles designed to be followed to achieve maximum use of hearing for learning. It does not use formalized visual communication systems such as sign language and cued speech. Research has shown that children who do not use sign language develop more sophisticated use of their hearing and speaking skills. Modifications to this approach are recommended on a case-by-case basis, considering the child, family, and community factors.
What age is best to begin Auditory-Verbal Therapy?
No infant is too young to work with. As soon as the infant has been fitted with hearing technology, therapy should begin. Because the human brain learns most rapidly in infancy, these important years should be capitalized on by starting therapy and parent training immediately.
How often should a child go to therapy?
In many cities, children receive one or two-hour-long sessions each week. Children and their parents participate in the sessions with the therapists. Families who are limited by distance may receive fewer sessions, such as every other week. The amount of therapy the child receives is not the main factor in a child’s progress; rather it is the amount of time the parents spend engaging their child in verbal dialogue and language learning!