Saturday, December 31, 2016

30th Anniversary Oberkotter Foundation Video

Oberkotter and Hearing First are dedicated to supporting families throughout their LSL journey. 

Enjoy this video celebrating Oberkotter Foundation’s 30th year. The Foundation grew out of one family’s journey with their daughter who is deaf. The video is a version of a home movie to pay tribute to that family and to the amazing gift they have given to so many other families and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Every family follows its own unique path, but all families share similar steps along the way, and even journeys that are separated by decades of time resonate with similar emotions, feelings, successes and struggles. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016


By Lynn A. wood
Consultant on the HEARING FIRST TEAM
Republished with permission from Hearing First.

This holiday season, we’re celebrating the gifts that help your child achieve their full potential. When you begin implementing LSL strategies for your child who is deaf of hard of hearing, you are giving them more than just a single gift, you’re giving them opportunities that can set them up for a lifetime of success. Take a look at our favorite gifts that create spoken language.

About Hearing First
The Hearing First website is a multimedia digital experience and connection point designed to link families who have chosen Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) for their children with hearing loss and the professionals who work with them with the resources, information, tools, community and learning experiences they need to ensure the children in their lives succeed. 
Visit or click here to learn about the Hearing First Communities.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Milestones in Action - a FREE Library of Photos and Videos of Developmental Milestones

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sound Localization and the Musical Elf on the Shelf Hide and Seek Game

Sound Localization and the Musical Elf 
Available to purchase:

Hide the musical and talking elf from your child’s view somewhere in a room.

When beginning the Hide and Seek Listening Game:

First, ask your child WHAT he hears.

Then, WHERE the sound is coming from.

You may want to begin by keeping the choices simple. For example, "Do you hear the Elf near the windows or closer to the fireplace?" 

Remind the child to listen first or else they will begin searching with their eyes! 

To play this game, with the Musical and Talking Elf, press the on/off button and hide him. The Elf plays music such as Jingle Bells and calls out phrases periodically like, "Yoo-hoo! I'm hiding! I'm over here! " 

Sound Localization
The ability to localize sounds develops over time. The earlier your child has received his bilateral cochlear implants/hearing aids, the sooner he starts picking up sound cues and gains valuable experiences localizing sounds. 
Tips For Children Learning to Locate Sound Sources
  • Using two different musical toys, hidden from the child’s view, locating one to the left of the child and one to the right side of the child. Then, make a sound with each instrument in varied sequence, ask your child to identify which instrument is on which side. You can do this with Mom's vs. Dad's voice as well. 
  • At the dinner table or while playing games help your child locate who is speaking. Your entire family can help the child learn to locate and follow then natural flow of
  • conversation.
  • Playing hide-and-seek indoors (e.g. room or house), hiding yourself and calling out to your child to find you. This task may be varied by taking turns between hiding and searching.
  • Games in a group, such as “Blindman’s Buff ” or “I Spy” (with sounds), hand clapping games are ideal for practicing sound localization in a  playful way.
  • Teach your child that is hard of hearing to be extra alert visually in crowds, walking near cars, crossing streets, riding bicycles, and in group games. Remind your child to look for traffic and not to depend on hearing oncoming vehicles. If your child rides a bicycle, consider rear-view mirrors to help him see traffic he might not hear.            

Sample Localization GOAL with Benchmarks
GOAL: Child will auditory locate with bilateral cochlear implants/hearing aids:

-  a sound presented at ear level within a 3-foot radius in front or on either side
-  a sound presented at ear level within a 6-foot radius from behind
 - understand and verify gross, environmental, music or speech sounds within  9 feet, then 12 feet and  finally, within the same room in all directions.
 - Understand sounds with a specific location or direction outside.

Click HERE for a packet by Med-EL entitled,
 "Sound Localization Tips and Information for users of Cochlear Implants"
A great listener at the Auditory Verbal Center of Wheaton

Monday, December 5, 2016

DECEMBER Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

SUMMER OF SILENCE - A journey from hearing to deafness to re-implantation

 Summer of Silence  - Click HERE to read.
November 29, 2016
Urban Plains 

 Sydney Price, one of my Auditory Verbal graduates is a Senior at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She writes the story of while studying abroad in Italy her cochlear implant failed. Health insurance left her in limbo and she experienced a summer of silence and struggled with her identity. Her article is an awe-inspiring first-hand account of her journey from hearing to deafness to re-implantation.

“Not every deaf person gets to say they took their hearing for granted. I did.” writes Sydney.

Sydney began AVT as an infant and continued in therapy for many years. We kept in touch over the years and she returned for Auditory Rehabilitation this summer after being re-implanted due to her cochlear implant device failure. 

Sydney is on the left enjoying a Summer Family Picnic with 
my Hearing Connections Group back in the 90's

 I love her quote, 
“I didn’t just need a slew of audiologist appointments to test if I could hear.
I needed auditory rehabilitation to help retrain my brain
 so I could understand what I was hearing.