Monday, November 6, 2017

November - Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

Click HERE to download the free NOVEMBER printable calendar with daily Listening and Spoken Language suggestions for families from the Moog Center.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Right to Work

Read a new article about Megan Swanson one of my AV graduates who won Miss Amazing Miss 2017 and two others who prove that women with disabilities could be your best employees. Thanks to Miss Amazing, hundreds of girls and women with disabilities have had the opportunity to gain communication and self-advocacy skills that translate into the workplace.

October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and many people with disabilities struggle to find and keep jobs. Currently, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 10.5%. That’s compared to 4.5% for people without disabilities. So often, this problem is perpetuated by the unawareness of the strengths that people with disabilities can bring to the table. In fact, it’s been proven that companies that hire people with disabilities are better able to innovate and nurture a stronger sense of loyalty among their customers and employees. 

Read on at:

Guess My Halloween Costume!

So it's the 1st of November and we are having a week-long Halloween celebration in AVT. Look at this handsome Listener playing Guess My Halloween Costume! 
Auditory memory skills were one target, as he had to remember all of the answers to the questions asked in order to make an accurate guess of his costume. He won and his Mom and I were the losers!

How to Use Clear Speech To Help People With Hearing Loss Understand

Queen Elizabeth,  A newscaster, and an Elementary School Teacher
 are examples of people who talk with clear speech.

Just like dancing a tango, it takes two people to conduct a conversation. When one of the conversational partners has a hearing loss, we often assume that this person must do all of the work in making a conversation successful---for example, the person with hearing loss might wear a hearing aid, try to read lips, ask for clarification when communication breakdowns occur, and so forth.

That a person with hearing loss should take responsibility for successful conversations is only partly true because the other person in the conversation also has a responsibility to talk as clearly as possible so that the person with hearing loss can best understand what is being said. 

Research has shown that when conversational partners talk with clear speech, the person with hearing loss understands a lot more of what is being said then if they are talking conversationally.  So what is clear speech?

Here's an example of clear versus conversational speech:
  • Clear speech:  "Did you eat yet?"
  • Conversational speech:  "D'jeet yet?"
The researchers at clEAR Auditory Brain Training have developed a short video to teach people how to speak with clear speech.  You can watch it by going to this YouTube address or by visiting the clEAR website.

Youtube address:

clEAR website video address:

If you are an audiologist, please feel free to share this video with the loved ones of your patients.  If you are a person with hearing loss, whether or not you use a hearing aid, feel free to ask your loved one to watch this video.  When a partner speaks clearly, conversations become more successful and everyone wins.

Ear train the brain:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Listening, Language and Learning with a Halloween Sensory Bin

Listening, language and learning with a Halloween sensory bin is a rich and motivating activity for a wide range of children. I use dry pinto beans and ofter cover the bin with a small swag of autumn leaves to keep the item(s) hidden. Increase or decrease the set size to meet the child's level. 

Depending on the goals the activity may  look like:

- Bury a season object and talk about it before the child sees it. (Hearing 1st)  OOoooo! Boo!

- Find something - with a face, an insect, that grows on trees...? 

Categories - things that fly: are scary; see in a pumpkin patch; are make-believe.... Find an item that doesn’t belong. 

- Following directions/critical elements- Look for the bat and make it sleep upside down.

Auditory memory- Find the apple, the wagon, and the black cat.  Uncover the skeleton, the witch but not the monster.

Inferences or Riddles- "I am the color of darkness. Some people say I’m bad luck. Others say I have nine lives. Witches keep me as their pet." Find it!

Give the child a turn to bury a toy and describe it to the other players.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Monster APP - Go Away!

Did you know that the Go Away, Big Green Monster! book is also a fabulous interactive app By Night & Day Studios, Inc?  (One of my favorite developers.)
You can listen and read along with the author Ed Emberley, a funny child or you can read aloud the story with your child. There is a Sing-Along Mode with music composed and performed by Ed’s granddaughter.  Kids love to touch the monster and see it react.
It plays anywhere: no wifi or internet necessary and totally safe with no third-party advertising or in-app purchases or pop-ups interrupting play.

Go Away, Big Green Monster! on the App Store

App Store
Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about Go Away, Big Green Monster!. Download Go Away, Big Green Monster! and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Have fun!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Not So Scary Halloween

Have you shared Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson? I read it this week in Auditory Verbal Therapy, added props and it was a hit with the Little Listeners and their parents.

Mouse finds out that first impressions can be misleading as he sees not-so-scary things swooping, smiling bats, pretty, tumbling leaves, scampering kittens and more.  It’s rich fall colors, rhythmic, repetitive, reassuring words add up to a gentle Halloween story for young preschool trick-or-treaters.

Here is a video read by Nana, a Youtube Storyteller.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Leaf Rubbing - Fall Auditory Verbal Adventure

Leaf Rubbings are one of my favorite fall auditory verbal activities. This activity encourages the children to listen and observe as we discuss the wonders of nature with supporting vocabulary within a rich LSL conversation.
Materials/Advance Preparation:
fresh leaves of different shapes and sizes
crayons, preferably thick ones with the paper stripped off
thin copy paper.
1. Place a leaf view side up on a smooth table and cover with a sheet of paper.
2. Using the side of the crayon (lay the crayon down on the paper), rub the crayon back and forth until the leaf's outline and features are clearly visible.
3. Place another leaf under the paper and use a different colored crayon to make a rubbing.It's fine if the leaf rubbings overlap a bit; in fact, it makes the rubbing even more beautiful.
4. Together notice and describe features of the rubbings (e.g. "My leaf has three points," “The yellow leaf has a jaggedy edge").
-Color words - green, red, orange, yellow, brown…. golden, crimson
-Dry, crunchy, rustling, noisy
-Rough, smooth, pretty, rounded, pointed, jagged edges
Home Carryover Suggestions: 
I encourage the parents to take their child on a leaf walk to collect leaves for this activity at home. I remind them that while they are raking and playing in the leaves to talk about what you are doing and what you see and the more times your child hears these words, the more likely he/she is to retain and learn them. 

A fun way to work on verbs is by making a pile of leaves and then practicing different actions through the piles.  For example, the child can march, stomp, skip, run, or roll through the pile. Take pictures as a way to expand LSL once the activity is over.
Follow-Up Leaf Craft - Following Directions/Sequencing
Set the activity up so that there are steps the child has to complete.  Think about what would help your child do this activity easily, and then make it just a little bit harder.  For example, if you think “my child could listen and follow one step of this at a time easily”, then give them two directions at a time.  Here are the steps to the activity that you can use to create the directions for your child. Remember to present through hearing first!
1. Collect leaves 
2. Draw a picture on paper of a bare tree, a pumpkin patch…. (for younger children, skip this step)
3. Spread glue on paper
4. Put leaves on glue
5. Place your picture in a safe place to dry
After you’re done, go back and talk about the activity with your child.  You can talk about what you did first, next, and last. Have your child share the leaf craft and tell someone else about the what s/he created with the leaves.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Conversation Starters for Strong Theory of Mind (ToM) Developmen

Hearing First has a free download of a simple list of conversation starters and a topic to focus on with open-ended thinking and feeling comments and questions that will help your child develop the skills of understanding the meaning behind actions and events and recognizing the perspectives of others in social interactions. Click HERE.

Use this list of conversation starters and continue helping in the development of your Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) learner’s social skills, emotional connections, and understanding today!

OCTOBER - Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

Click HERE to download the free OCTOBER printable calendar with daily Listening and Spoken Language suggestions for families from the Moog Center.

New Listening and Spoken language Auditory Verbal Certification Requirements

If you are looking to pursue Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Auditory Verbal certification check out the new AG Bell Academy requirements related to the certification process for candidates.
According to AG Bell, all changes are found in July 2017 versions of the following documents on the Academy website:
Click here for a summary of all changes.
We appreciate the time and commitment of the AG Bell Academy Board and the Mentoring Taskforce to the growth in knowledge and skill of each professional pursing LSL certification and the enhancement of the LSL certification process all with the expectation of improving the LSL outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Thank you to these Hearing First members who are members of the AG Bell Academy Board:
 M.S., LSLS Cert. AVEd, Board Chair
Emma Rushbrooke, M.Phil (Audiology), B.A. Dip Aud, MAudSa, LSLS Cert. AVT, RNC,  Board Chair-Elect
M.S., Cert. AVEd, Immediate Past Board Chair
 M.S., LSLS Cert. AVEd
Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, J.D., CFRE
, M.S., LSLS Cert. AVEd
Ulrika Lofkvist, Ph.D., LSLS Cert. AVEd, M.Sc.
 Ph.D., LSLS Cert. AVT
Ted Meyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Lee Rech, J.D.
, M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT 
 Ph.D., CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd
 And the Mentoring Task Force:
 LSLS Cert. AVT, Task Force Chair
Rollen Cooper, M.S., LSLS Cert. AVEd
Sherri Fickenscher, M.S., LSLS Cert. AVEd

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Secrets of the Apple Tree:

by Carron Brown . Alyssa Nassner

Perfect for toddlers and pre-school kids learning to listen and talk, the Shine Light books are more than just ordinary picture books. Don’t forget to grab a flashlight! Because these books will reveal “secrets” or hidden photos when you shine the light from your flashlight on the pages. Who lives in the apple tree? Shine a light behind the page and see...from worms wriggling among the roots to birds nesting high in the branches, the hidden wonders of this amazing habitat are revealed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Auditory Hierarchy Minimal Pair Cards

Have you seen this new resource for working on (or collecting data on) auditory discrimination that was recently published by my friend and colleague Kristine Ratliff? It includes colorful and engaging 228 minimal pair cards differing by sound feature. The minimal pair cards were designed using the Auditory Discrimination Hierarchy known as the Listening Ladder created by Dave Sindrey, M.Cl.Sc., LSLS Cert. AVT. 

The hierarchy begins at level 1, with sounds differing by duration, intensity and pitch. It progresses by difficulty though ten steps, ending with discrimination of words with final consonants differing by place of articulation.

I downloaded my minimal pair cards on my iPad so they are easily accessible and it saves on ink and printing.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

LOFT Graduate Wins National Miss Amazing

Megan Swanson, one of my AV graduates was recognized in the AG Bell Associations' Featured News for winning the 2017 National Miss Amazing Miss Title.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SEPTEMBER - Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

Click HERE to download the free SEPTEMBER printable calendar with daily Listening and Spoken Language suggestions for families from the Moog Center.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Free Professional Development Courses from CID

Did you hear CENTRAL INSTITUTE FOR THE DEAF online learning courses For Professional Development is now FREE? Watch ALL of CID's online learning courses on the website! CID made this change to ensure more professionals have access to the information they need to support students with hearing loss. Click the following link to view all of the available topics:

Monday, August 21, 2017

ASHA Leader Tips to Involve Parents and AVT Principles

Did you read the article in the ASHA Leader yesterday? My 4 Favorite Tips to Involve Parents in Treatment August 17, 2017, By Jonathan Suarez?  It corresponds with our Auditory Verbal Principles of guiding and coaching families.

Jonathan Suarez, MS, CCC-SLP,  shares that SLPs are experts in speech and language development whereas, parents, however, are experts on their child.  Like LSL practitioners Jonathan suggests we take advantage of this time and teach the parent simple ways to help their child every day.

He wrote about a child who had SLP sessions twice a week for 18 months which comes out to 156 sessions.

Jonathan said,  "If I went to 156:

personal training sessions, then I better be all muscle.

cooking lessons, then I should cook like a master chef.

college courses, I could earn at least two degrees, maybe three.

coached basketball practices, I might finally accomplish my life-long goal of being an NBA player.

finally, as a parent, if I attended 156 speech-language sessions, I hope I learned enough to help my child work on the concepts at home."

I thought this was an illustration we can share with parents or colleagues who still believe more therapy must be better.  We know that coaching parents and getting other family members involved usually allows the child to make faster progress.

Click HERE to read the

Saturday, August 19, 2017

THIS IS WHY - I'm an Audiologist and an Auditory Verbal Therapist

Today, Bryn, Lauren, and Megan tell their own stories and we no longer have to convince naysayers that children who are deaf and hard of hearing can listen and speak. 

Auditory Verbal Family Picnic
Bryn Spejcher, Chelsea & Lauren O'Brien and Megan Swanson

It is a privilege
 to be a trusted member and walk beside families
 on their listening and spoken language journey.

Bryn, Megan and Lauren at AG Bell LOFT 2008
Leadership Opportunities For Teens 

Over 20 years later. Amazing, successful woman
 who I am blessed to call dear friends.

Bryn Spejcher and Lynn Wood
Lauren O'Brien, Lynn Wood and Megan Swanson

Listening and Spoken Language therapy makes it possible for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to learn to listen and talk, which powers language, literacy and lifetime success. _

Friday, August 18, 2017

YouTubers - Make a Back To School Video With Tips For Hearing At School

So you want to be a YouTube Star. Here's your chance. 


Listen to Monrovia share her 3-minute video, then create your own video with your back to school hearing loss tips for the teachers.

If you up for the challenge make a video for the kids at school! 

Send me the link and I will post it! 

You'll be on your way to stardom!

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Come Full Circle! Celebrating Bryn P. Spejcher, Au.D.

It Comes Full Circle 

What a privilege to partner with the Mike and Laurie Spejcher and their family along their LSL Auditory Verbal journey. We celebrated Bryn this weekend and her accomplishment of earning a doctorate in audiology. 

Bryn P. Spejcher, Au.D., CCC-A is beginning her career at the House Children’s Hearing Center of UCLA, Los Angeles. 

Pay it forward Bryn!

Friday, August 4, 2017

AUGUST - Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

Click HERE to download the free AUGUST printable calendar with daily Listening and Spoken Language suggestions for families from the Moog Center.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Talk Time NOT Screen Time But...

I often am questioned by parents who know that listening, language and social skills are learned best when interacting with children and apps together but there are times when they want or need their child to listen and play independently.

Q - ”Lynn, I've heard that one of the most important part of using apps for listening and spoken language development is to interact with my child while he's using the app(s).  What about the times when I'm just exhausted and want my child to play an app by himself?”

A - Dear Parent,

Listening, language and social skills are learned best when interacting with children and apps together. But rest assured, there are many well-chosen apps that open an universe of books, games and music for listening and spoken language learning. Apps can provide practice for your child listening to a variety of speakers or voices. Some apps allow you to choose to allow background music which is an auditory challenge for older kids.

Apps that I recommend for a child to play independently would be those that target following auditory directions, storytelling and identifying sounds in our environment. Below are some of my favorites.

Classic Stories By Nosy Crow 

Fun With Directions Apps By Hamaguchi  (There are free lite versions available)

One Step Two Step by Synapse Apps, LLC (There is a free lite version)

Funny Directions By Speecharoo Apps

Food Frenzy Following Directions By Super Duper Publications

Seasonal Directions By ViritualSpeechCenter

Auditory Memory For Quick Stories  By Super Duper Publications

Sound Touch By Sound Touch

Touch The Sound By Alligator Apps