Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Listening and Spoken Language in Vietnam

I accepted an invitation to join the Global Foundation For Children with Hearing Loss in Vietnam this summer. It will be a  privilege to be part of this network of audiologists, speech pathologists and auditory-verbal therapists that share my compassion and enthusiasm for empowering professionals and families with the expertise and tools they need to help their children with hearing loss achieve their full potential in our hearing world.

The Foundation aims to make a direct and lasting impact on the future of thousands of children that are deaf and hard of hearing around the world by providing them with access to the technology, education, and resources they need to become contributing members
 of society.

Take a few minutes to view these two videos below. 
This first video showcases the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss,
 the vision, and the multi-faceted program that is changing lives for children 
who are deaf or hard of hearing in Vietnam.

The second video features the teacher training program.

The Summer Training component features curricula covering topics in audiology, speech-pathology, early intervention, and auditory-verbal practice. Teachers, medical teams, therapists, audiology technicians, and families from the participating schools, clinics, and hospitals travel to Thuan An Center each summer to board and to attend the training. Those who pass the final test at the conclusion of each summer workshop progress to the next level the following year and build on their knowledge over time.
The curricula include lectures and practicum for Vietnamese professionals and evening sessions for families - all designed to help children with hearing loss develop their listening and spoken language skills.  We also fit hearing aids on children from low-income families as part of our audiology training course.
The Global Foundation and Thuan An Center held the first training event in Summer, 2010. Subsequent programs were held in 2011, 2012, and 2013 with the next one scheduled for Summer, 2014.
If you want to find out more go to:

Thanks in advance for your interest in this opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives of so many children in Vietnam. I would appreciate your prayers in this adventure.
Many thanks,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

KJ - Champion Listener and Gymnist

Sports and Making Wise Auditory Choices For Our Kids

KJ started Auditory Verbal Therapy at 12 weeks. He is now a first grader with bilateral cochlear implants and age appropriate language, clear speech, and confidence - thanks to his parents! Yesterday, he took 1st place in all 6 events – which is typical for this little athlete. 

Of course, the sky is the limit today for kids that are d/hh but KJ’s parents wisely guided him to a sport that he enjoys, while able to wear his FM, has 1:1 coach training and also being part of a team. 

Over the years, I’ve been sad to watch some of my little listeners on a basketball court – only using their EYES because they can’t understand speech due to the gym acoustics, squeaking shoes, shouting fans… As parents you can encourage you child to try different activates but can also guide them towards better hearing opportunities. Tennis anyone? Of course, one of my AV grads is playing soccer in college now and look at Derrick Coleman – but life is hard enough.

Life is hard enough!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Written by a Pre-School Teacher – It says it all!

My oldest daughter shared this email with me from her mother-in-law. I don't have a reference but know it speaks truth. It's about childhood alone not looking at our children as a set of ears, cochlear implants or hearing aids rather as the beautiful gift from God we received - our child.

"I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked.

Most of the answers left me not only saddened but also pretty soundly annoyed. One mom posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only three. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.

It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mom by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our preschoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.

So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.

She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.

He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations.

He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.

She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.

He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he will learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.

She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous.

She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.

But more important, here’s what parents need to know.

That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.

That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.

That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours.

One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.

That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like lego and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.

That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay!

Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them."

Patty Young

WMS Teacher

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Humor, Listening and Language

Telling jokes is a fun way for children to listen carefully, learn higher level language such as multiple meanings, puns and improve their social skills.
For some kids it is very natural to tell jokes, but for others it is the delivery that they may have to practice. Using their clear speech and appropriate pausing is essential. Listening and playing off their partner makes a joke work or flop.
 Practice makes perfect and here are Valentine Day jokes that you child can practice telling to your friends and family.
Giggle, laugh and have fun!
Click HERE as Activity Village has Valentine Joke lunchbox notes, bookmarks and more.

Telling jokes is good for kids!
 It increases their confidence, helps them to remember a story in order,
and stimulate their thinking!