Thursday, November 29, 2012

Using Christmas Catalogs In Auditory Verbal Therapy!

It’s interesting how the old stuff comes back once again. When I was in college studying Audiology and Auditory Rehab/Auditory Verbal Therapy, I heard over and over the therapy materials do not make a successful session.  I vividly recall on two occasions, as I was walking into the therapy session, my supervisor took my planned lesson materials from me and in exchange handed a roll of Lifesavers, on the first occasion and the second time, a catalog from the Speech and Hearing Clinic’s waiting room. Yikes!

This is when the rubber hit the road for me. Yes, a pun -  as I was at the University of Akron in Ohio, which was known as the Rubber Capital of the World back then, with tire manufactures headquarters such as Firestone, Goodrich and Goodyear. Once, I got over the initial shock – I found out that I was knowledgeable, flexible and if I say so myself, we had two amazing and very fun therapy sessions.

Isn’t this what parents need to see in therapy – that Auditory Verbal Therapy is a way of life and listening and spoken language is caught not taught?  As an AVT, I guide and coach parents to be natural language models, to bathe their child in meaningful spoken language, to follow their child’s lead throughout the child’s daily activities. 

So, grab a toy catalog and try it this holiday season. What would you target? You can get a little help with two SLP bloggers.

Check out Miss Speechie at who writes about using a catalog for a holiday scavenger hunt and I Spy.

Jenna from created a Speech & Language Toy Catalog Companion, for $3.00 for purchase and download to work with any toy catalog mailer. It’s appropriate for both preschool and elementary aged students. It’s 20 pages in length and targets articulation, functions, attributes, categories, compare/contrasting, persuasion and perspective taking.

This week, I went “Old School” and have been using toy catalogs in my AVT sessions and with a few of my children with auditory processing needs. The kids have had a blast and the parents have been thrilled with easy home carryover ideas! I am learning new vocabulary too – ha! These new toys today are crazy. By the way, my daughter had a Furby about years ago and now they are $54.00! Well, I guess I am old school!

Lots of listening and talking have been going on at the Auditory Verbal Center of Wheaton this week. Please share what have you been doing in your home or therapy sessions as we get close to the Christmas season?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Listening with the One Step Two Step App

The One Step Two Step iPad App

Following step directions in a fun and interactive way.

Suggested scenes for you child to listen, learn and follow directions this Thanksgiving week.


The creator a SLP says, “The ability to follow directions depends upon the child’s auditory sequential memory ability, which is the ability to hold information in memory in the order it was given.  This ability develops over time. Children at 1 year of age begin to carry out simple one step directions such as “ give me the cup.”  Between two and three years of age the child follows 2 step directions and by the time they enter Kindergarten they should be able to follow at least a 3 step direction. Life and school are full of directives..”

Top Ten Thanksgiving Books for Young Kids

 Stores are already bombarding our senses with signs of the December holidays, so it is refreshing for me to step back from that and introduce children to Thanksgiving. While teaching children about the history of Thanksgiving, as well as the spirit of the holiday, I also remind myself to take time to think about everything I have to be grateful for.
One of the best ways to introduce children to Thanksgiving is through beautifully written and illustrated picture books. I have listed 10 books that I enjoy. Some are wonderful resources for teaching young children about the first Thanksgiving, while others highlight the importance of recognizing and being grateful for the wonderful people and things in our lives. There are also a few books that incorporate the holiday season in an entertaining story.
Recommended Thanksgiving story books for young children:
1. Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland -  Beautifully illustrated and written, this book highlights the importance of being grateful for the wonderful people and things in our lives.
2. Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes - Appealing, detailed illustrations and simple text focus on the children in a loving family as they recognize all that they are thankful for. This book truly captures the spirit of Thanksgiving and even has a page at the end of the book to allow children to write down what they are thankful for.
3. T is for Turkey by Tanya Lee Stone - This delightfully illustrated book uses the alphabet as the structure for telling children about the first Thanksgiving. The rhyming text adds to the enjoyment of the book.
4. The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty - This sweet tale about a small girl will be easy for young children to relate to. The fact that the main character is a Pilgrim offers children a glimpse into the life of these early American settlers.
5. One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B. G. Hennessy - This adorable book, which can be sung to the familiar tune, is a great introduction to the first Thanksgiving feast. The book gives accurate information in an easy to understand way with young characters that will appeal to children.
6. The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing - Modeled after the poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas, this rhyming book tells the story of a family as they prepare for the Thanksgiving meal. The story also shows this family sharing their meal with extended family and saying a prayer at the table.
7. ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey - Another book set in the rhyming style of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, this adorable tale of eight children visiting a turkey farm will delight your little one. The author has a sense of humor as he names the farmer, for example, Mack Nuggett. This is an entertaining book, told with the turkey’s perspective in mind.
8. A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman - Rhyming text and playful pictures are fun for children. The turkey theme sets the stage for discussions about Thanksgiving.
9. The Thankful Book by Todd Parr - The bold, colorful, and easily recognizable illustrations by Todd Parr grab children’s attention. This book is a wonderful springboard for discussions with children about the many small things in the world to be grateful for.
10.          Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown - While not about the Pilgrim’s first thanksgiving or a family celebration, this is an entertaining story for fans of the Arthur series. Arthur is given the job of directing the class Thanksgiving play which poses quite a dilemma for this favorite storybook character.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you are able to spend this special time with the special people in your life.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Welcome, welcome everyone!

I am sure many of you follow my Facebook - AUDITORY VERBAL CENTER OF WHEATON page. It seems like many parents and professionals alike cannot get enough of the materials, news articles, family stories and therapy activity ideas that I post. I hear from many of you who are incorporating them in to home lessons and Auditory Verbal Therapy sessions. With all your encouragement, I decided to be officially a blogger!

If you just stumbled upon my blog, you will soon learn that I am passionate about children who are deaf/hard of hearing, their families and the development of spoken language. That is the meaning behind HearSayLW – simply stated, children learning to hear and talk with my professional guidance LW!

Auditory Verbal Therapy is an approach to spoken language development that infants and young children with hearing loss are taught to listen and talk with the use of hearing technology, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. Parents and caregivers are supported in their role as the child’s most important teacher of language, and the goal is for the child to attend mainstream schools. I encourage you to investigate more by clicking here and visiting the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center.

Something to look forward to – my daughter Kara is an artist, photographer, blogger, graphic and web designer and a marketing success story. With her talent and my years of therapy experience, Lord willing, we are going to begin publishing our own line of therapy materials for you in 2013. Our therapy activates will be designed to meet the needs of children with hearing loss and specifically for Listening and Spoken Language and Auditory Verbal therapy! Kara and I are in the brainstorming stage but look out as we are quite a pair.

Enough said, so let the blogging journey begin...