Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Help AG Bell tell everyone that deaf people can hear and speak!

What if you were born deaf?                        
What if your child was?
Dear Friend,

Think about a world where the general public understands that nearly every child with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk.
Did you know that most deaf children - more than 95 percent - are born to parents with typical hearing, and close to 90 percent of those parents are choosing listening and spoken language for their child?

Deaf children growing up now have unprecedented opportunities to develop listening and spoken language, thanks to newborn screening, early identification and intervention, and the latest technology, such as advanced hearing aids and cochlear implants.

The voices of our children with hearing loss tell their own story. AG Bell recently asked parents, children and adults, "What if you were born deaf?" In videos available on the AG Bell YouTube channel, families shared the remarkable abilities of deaf children today - making music, singing songs, and participating fully in sports and theater using speech and hearing. 

Every day, AG Bell works to dispel myths about deafness and spread the word that children who are deaf can hear and talk. They can become part of the larger world and share in the great treasures of sound.

AG Bell uses timeless guiding principles to ensure that deafness doesn't mean a world of silence.
  • Empowering and Respectful. We empower families to make informed choices, respect their decisions and value the contributions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. 
  • Forward-Thinking and Innovative. We value our heritage and history, while adapting to the changing environment, and promoting access to technology. 
  • Inclusive and Supportive. AG Bell provides a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing, their families and the professionals that work with them.
  • Dependable and Knowledgeable. AG Bell has built a reputation of providing evidence-based, reliable and accurate information about listening and spoken language.
You make our vision possible. Your contribution helps us continue to share the great news with the general public that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can listen and use spoken language.

This holiday season, help AG Bell tell everyone that deaf people can hear and speak!

P.S. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar if you make your pledge now and fulfill it in 2016!

Friday, December 11, 2015

HearSayLW made the list! 100 Top Speech and Language Websites and Blogs for 2016.

I am honored to have been selected as one of the Top 100 
Speech and Language Blogs and Websites for 2016, and thankful to return from the 2015 list.

Check out my colleagues sites by following the link to Kidmunicate 
The sites are wonderful resources for professionals and parents alike and grouped into the following categories-
SLP Blogs
SLP Resources
SLP Disorders, and 
SLP Technology

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Meeting Santa - What will you talk about?

Here is a great suggestion from N. Thompson at L2L  

Nan recommends preparing for your child's visit with Santa 
by brainstorming of questions to ask him
 beyond the typical wish list.

Holiday Baking for Listening, Spoken Language and Fun


Holiday baking with children is a rich experience for listening and spoken language. Children love to measure, pour, stir and decorate. While it is messy, you are building memories alongside listening and spoken language skills.

Cooking Up Therapy is a blog post by a fellow AVT Elizabeth Rosenzweig MS CCC-SLP LSLS Cert. AVT who wrote, "Whatever your child needs to work on, you can target it in cooking with just a little bit of thought and preparation."

I recall one December when our daughters Kara and Joy were young baking a variety of cookies for Christmas. I don't recall the recipes or how the baked goods tasted, but we still talk about how Joy couldn't keep the beaters in the bowl and the flour and dough covered counters. Kara laughs about burning up two hand held mixers that year with all the mixing and beating. I wish I would have bought a Kitchenaid mixer back then. Today, I rarely bake, but both our daughters are married and love their Kitchenaids!

As an AVT, there was always lots of talking going on in my kitchen. Sweet Joy told me on many occasions, "Please Mom, I'm not one of 'the kids' you see for therapy." which was her way of asking me to hush! Oh, the memories.

There are many toys to carry over holiday cooking and baking Christmas cookies through imaginative play. Many would make great gift ideas. Go to HomemadeSpeech to view cookie toys that can help foster listening and spoken learning. 

Happy baking!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Listening and Spoken Language Printable Calendar

Click HERE to download the December Listening and Spoken Language printable calendar from the Moog School.  It  provides daily suggestions that Auditory-Verbal families will find helpful. 

What's In the Christmas Stocking?

Two  Ways To Play: 

1. One player peeks at the hidden object and describes the item in the stocking for the other players. This targets a wide range of spoken language goals including descriptive skills, use of adjectives and expressive language.

2. One player listens and makes a smart guess based on what was heard based on the other players descriptions. This targets inferencing and auditory memory skills.

To Play: Take turns drawing stocking cards and listen and make a smart guess based on what you heard based on the descriptions.

This game can be purchased for $2.25 
and is available from Lindsey Karol at 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Students with auditory processing disorders can have difficulty in any situation in which the
signal they are listening to is degraded. This means that they will have difficulty when there is background noise when the person speaking is more than 6 feet away, when the person is not facing them, and when the person has a foreign accent or does not speak clearly. The following suggestions may be helpful.


1. Consider a trial use of an FM listening system in the classroom and in other difficult listening situations to reduce the negative effects of distance and competing noise. An FM system is a listening system in which the teacher wears a close microphone and the Larry wears a radio receiver. Larry will hear the teacher as if he were standing next to his ear in a room with no background noise.

2. Larry is in private therapy with Lynn A. Wood M/A.CCC/A, LSLS, Cert AVT, where his needs are identified and are treated in order to maximize his auditory learning and performance. A systematic program of auditory training is used to improve his auditory processing, auditory memory and auditory attention. Collin is practicing listening in noise and in targeting auditory skills as well.


1. Select quiet classrooms if possible. It should face a quiet street and not face traffic or be
near toilets, stairway, gymnasium, or the lunchroom.

2. Use acoustic treatment such as carpeting on the floor and acoustic tiles on the ceiling. If
carpeting cannot be installed in the entire room at least put it in especially noisy places areas.

3. All chairs and movable tables should have rubber stoppers (or tennis balls) to reduce noise.

4. Seat the Larry close to the teacher and allow him to change his seat if the Teacher moves around the room. Be certain Larry can see the teacher’s face so he can  Use visual cues.

5. Whenever possible, seating should be away from the window or doorway, or any noisy
equipment  (i.e. audiovisual equipment.)


1. Write information and homework in handouts or on the smartboard so the Larry does not  have to rely on listening to get the correct assignment.

2. Check with the Larry to be certain that he understands. Repeat or rephrase if necessary.

3. Consider pre-teaching some of the academic materials to reduce listening in the classroom.

4. Whenever possible, small groups learning should take place outside of the classroom in a quiet room to maximize their benefit by reducing the interference from competing noise etc. 

5. Allow Larry to take a  “time out” during his day if he requests when listening is not required. This will reduce the stress of listening. 

6. Larry may need extended test-taking time, and individualized test directions.

7. Larry may benefit from use of or a note taker to record classroom activities.


Several strategies exist which may positively impact a Larry in their educational environment.  These strategies are divided into parent, teacher, and Listening Larry approaches.

Teacher Modification Strategies
Classroom environment:

Reduction of noise/minimize distractions
􏰀Preferential seating away from noise
􏰀Use of classroom amplification system
 Teaching techniques:

Clear enunciation at a slow-moderate rate of speech
􏰀Insert purposeful pauses between concepts
􏰀Shortened verbal instructions; only pertinent content
Provide visual cues during lecture and/or oral directions
􏰀Provide repetition of oral information and steps of assignment
􏰀Give breaks between intense concepts taught for comprehension
􏰀Check for comprehension early and often
􏰀Have Larry repeat directions to the teachers
􏰀Preview and review concepts for lecture
 Peer assistance:

􏰀Use of a positive peer partner for comprehension of directions
􏰀Use of cooperative learning groups
􏰀Use of a note-taker
 Possible Assignment modifications:

􏰀Allow extended time to complete assignments and/or tests
􏰀Provide visual instructions
􏰀Preview language of concept prior to assignment
􏰀Frequent checks for comprehension at pre-determined points
􏰀Vary grading techniques
Modification Strategies, which are being, incorporated in his private therapy:

􏰀Use of primarily audition in therapy to improve and maximize his listening.
􏰀Use of short and long term memory techniques (i.e. rehearsal, chunking, mnemonics, visual imagery)
􏰀Listen  for meaning rather than every word
􏰀Teach active listening behaviors
􏰀Teach Larry to advocate for themselves by asking frequent questions about the  material, asking for multiple repetitions or requesting speaker to “write it down”
􏰀Teach organizational strategies for learning information
Parent Modification Strategies:

􏰀Keep directions or commands short and simple
􏰀Use praise often and be positive
􏰀Use visuals or gestures at home to compensate for listening difficulties
􏰀Assist the Larry in asking clarification questions and being their own advocate
􏰀Preview and review classroom material
􏰀Review homework directions and assignment due dates with the Larry
Other specific skill strategies that focus on auditory remediation exist in the literature in auditory processing disorders.  However, the school-based speech-language pathologist may not necessarily speak to these acoustic skill strategies without a direct IEP goal, which addresses an area of the Larry’s educational deficits.  In addition, Larry will benefit greatly from his time in the classroom that pull out services may not meet his academic needs. Also, since IEP goals are derived from a comprehensive assessment and eligibility in other special education certifications as well as direct effect on educational performance, the team may not work with specific auditory skill remediation in isolation.  For further information about acoustic skill remediation please refer to the References portion of this section.


Karen L. Anderson, Ph.D., CCC/A.;
Carol Flexer, Ph.D., CCC/A, LSLS Cert. AVT;
Jane R. Madell, PhD CCCA/SLP, LSLS, Cert AVT;

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Preparing Your Child for the H O L I D A Y S - Listening and Spoken Language Tips


Holidays are about listening to joyous music, lively conversations and spending time with family and friends.  Encourage your child to be the Holiday Host and greet visitors and take their coats. This will boost your child’s confidence while giving him a chance to talk face to face in a quiet setting.  Role-play upcoming holiday situations and practice good listening strategies. Create a secret a signal so your child can notify you when he is having a difficult time hearing. Keep the holiday music off or at a low volume, as your child is likely not the only one bothered by clatter and background music.

Organize an email and send it your family and friends before you gather for the holidays. Write a quick update about your child’s listening and spoken language progress and his hearing technology. Dealing with this before the holidays will allow you to spend time celebrating rather than answering questions of well-meaning friends and family.

Large family dinners are noisy so plan accordingly.  One suggestion is ensuring your child knows the topic of the conversation. Consider using “conversation starter cards around the table which are always fun. Also, have someone special seated next to your child who can repeat a joke or summarize a story if your child mishears.

Include your child in the holiday preparations and focus on vocabulary that is often specific to the season. What is mistletoe? The Nutcracker? A wishbone? Jelly beans? Spend time reading holiday stories, cooking traditional foods and learning the words to holiday songs.  You child can create decorations to hang around your home and tell guests about them when they visit.

Devices. Keep your child’s Roger or FM charged and ready to use. Role-play so your child is comfortable asking others to wear the FM and can explain how it helps him hear.  At the dining table place the mic in the middle or concealed in the centerpiece. If you attend a holiday performance or a faith-based service, contact the venue to request extra amplification such as a microphone, a hearing loop, and captions. Another important device is your phone's camera. Take photos to include in your child’s Listening and Spoken Language Experience Book.

Arrange seating with your child’s hearing in mind. Encourage your child to choose a good seat for hearing at dinner and for the gift exchange. Is there a seat away from the bustling kitchen, or the room when the teenagers are playing video games? When opening gifts, suggest sitting in a circle so your child can both listen and watch.

Your traditions are an important way to expand your child’s listening and spoken language skills. If gift giving is your tradition, choose presents that will provide hours of creative play and stimulate conversation. Most of your child’s memories will be about people, not presents.

Simplify. Ask your child what traditions he feels are most important. You may be surprised by his reply. Consider skipping old traditions that have lost appeal or that your family has outgrown. Time spent together rather than on activities will be most remembered. Keep a Joy Journal to jot down moments of triumphs, laughter, inspiration and the “hearing” miracles you enjoy over the holidays.

Lynn's article was previously posted at Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center and Speech Room News

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Is Auditory Rehabilitation Right For Me? Considerations


  • Do you understand most speakers easily and completely?
  • Are you able to understand a speaker without seeing his/her face? What if the speaker is at a distance?
  • Does your comprehension in noise remain largely the same as in quiet?
  • Can you follow and participate in a group discussion?
  • Are you able to use the telephone easily and with full comprehension of most speakers?
  • Are you free of anxiety (related to communication) in new environments (e.g., phoning someone you don’t know, communicating in an unknown setting)?
  • If you have recently received a second (bilateral) cochlear implant, is your speech understanding via the second implant as good as the first?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NOVEMBER: Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

Click HERE to download the November Listening and Spoken Language printable calendar from the Moog School.  It's provides a daily suggestions that Auditory-Verbal families will find helpful.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Are You Interested In Learning about Assistive Listening Devices?

If you are interested in finding out how Assistive Listening Devices may help you hear more clearly at work or school the MED-EL Blog has a few helpful blog posts. 

Click HERE to begin reading. The archives are tagged for: "assistive listening device"

Thursday, October 29, 2015



Fall brings many new and rich opportunities to introduce your child to new sounds and language along their listening and spoken language journey. provides specific suggestions for home while your child is learning to listen and talk.

Click HERE  to read go to the Hearing First website and download these free articles

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fire Safety for Individuals with Hearing Loss

Fire safety is a special concern for persons with hearing loss. Read the following precautions that can help save your life or the life of a loved one. Be prepared.

Tips from Cochlear America:

·  Register as a person with impaired hearing with your local emergency (911) dispatcher.

·  Whether you’re staying in a college dorm, hotel or other facility, be sure to request proper safety accommodations, such as a fire alarm with a built-in strobe light that is ADA compliant.

· Establish an effective alerting system based on your hearing loss needs. Some systems sound a low-frequency alarm, flash a light or even vibrate the bed.

· Take preemptive measures to lower your fire risks by making sure cigarette butts are fully extinguished before discarding, never leaving a flickering candle unattended, and following instructions when using a space heater and clothes dryer

·       Ace Hardware Corporation
·       BRK Electronics
·       Gentex Corporation
·       Kidde Fire Safety
·       Menards

Smoke alarms save lives. But those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing cannot depend on the sound of the regular alarm to alert them to a fire.
People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing should use alarms with strobe (flashing) lights that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory. The alarms for sleeping areas with strobe lights are required to be of a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person.
Most major smoke alarm companies offer alarms with strobe lights. For information on availability and pricing, go to the manufacturers' Web sites. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of smoke alarms that meet U.L. standard 1971 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing include:
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the three keys to proper fire safety are Planning, Practice and Preparation so that you’re never caught helpless in a blaze. Other measures may be appropriate as you deem fit. The main point, of course, is your awareness and precaution. For more information about fire prevention and safety, visit the NFPA’s website at