101 FAQs about Auditory-Verbal Practice: Collaborative Project Brings Knowledge to Parents and Professionals

By Alvarez, Rafael | Volta Voices, January/February 2013 | Go to article overview
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101 FAQs about Auditory-Verbal Practice: Collaborative Project Brings Knowledge to Parents and Professionals


Alvarez, Rafael, Volta Voices


The landscape of therapy and education for children with hearing loss continues to evolve. Today more than ever, people all over the world are recognizing the possibilities for children who are deaf and hard of hearing to develop listening and spoken language. This exciting phenomenon has brought together a worldwide community of more than 100 Listening and Spoken Language Specialists LSLS(TM)) to join forces and expand the knowledge base of the field of auditory-verbal practice. The distilled wisdom of the listening and spoken language community is compiled in a new book from AG Bell, "101 Frequently Asked Questions About Auditory-Verbal Practice: Promoting Listening and Spoken Language for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Their Families."

Steeped in the history, philosophy and principles of auditory-verbal practice, the book's greatest strength is its demonstration of strategies and techniques that promote effective development of listening and spoken language. The book also helps parents become their child's primary teachers on the journey to lifelong language development, literacy and independent thinking skills.

"The field of auditory-verbal practice continues to evolve as the clinical and educational landscapes change," said Warren Estabrooks, editor of 101 FAQs About Auditory-Verbal Practice, "and this book represents the ideologies of listening and spoken language that have proven to be successful."

A Compendium of Current Topics

The book's mission is to share the philosophy, principles and contemporary practice of auditory-verbal therapy and education to support today's families with children with hearing loss, and to encourage professionals who have the privilege of working with them. It is a collective effort of many practitioners who worked in the spirit of community to bring facts, thoughts, opinions, insights, experiences, successes and challenges to the reader.

The "responses" provided to the 101 frequently asked questions about auditoryverbal practice guide the reader through most of the questions posed to practitioners , such as how to encourage development of listening and spoken language and the number of treatment sessions for children of various ages. The responses also cover new ground, exploring new service delivery models, such as telepractice, which uses telecommunications technology to connect professionals and families over great distances, and the use of social media in intervention and communication with families. The book focuses on the strong connection between listening and spoken language as the foundation for developing literacy and written language for children with hearing loss. The book also gives parents a solid understanding of audiological testing as well as auditory disorders they may encounter.

This compendium of information emphasizes families today, supporting the father's role in their child's language development and addressing the needs of children from bilingual and multilingual households and families with socioeconomic challenges. Among the many issues addressed are contemporary topics, such as the effects of pediatric bilateral and sequential cochlear implants on language development and the needs of children who receive a cochlear implant at a "later age" or who have grown up using a visual language system. Other topics include executive functioning, theory of mind, adult learning styles, techniques and strategies in practice, storytelling and educational supports in mainstream environments. Most "responses" include references on the topic and suggestions for further reading.

A Collaborative Effort

Shepherding all of this information into a single volume was something Estabrooks has contemplated for some time. "This new book compiles a comprehensive body of knowledge and skills and was embraced with a passion by the LSLS community," Estabrooks said. Although he is the editor of this book, Estabrooks is adamant in pointing out that "101 FAQs," the biggest work of its kind, represents the collaborative work of researchers and practitioners engaged in auditory-verbal practice all over the world.

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