Wednesday, December 20, 2017

HearSayLW - Awarded 100 Top Blogs and Websites for 2018.

I’m happy to announce this is the 4th year my blog made the list. 2015, 2016, 2017 and now for 2018! 
4th Annual 100 Top Blogs and Websites for Speech and Language Pathology for 2018. 

Kidmunicate says, “Visit this site if you need information on cochlear implant rehabilitation, auditory verbal therapy, and auditory processing. Its the only site on the list from an audiologist.

HERE is the link to the 2018 Kidmunciate Top 100 Websites and Blogs for Speech and Language Pathology. The 2018 list is in categories to make it easier to find the most relevant sites. General SLP Blogs, Resource Websites, SLP Disorder Websites, SLP Technology Websites

Here are the links to 2015, 2016 and 2017 Kidmunciate Top 100 Websites and Blogs for Speech and Language Pathology.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Silly Riddle Word Game

Are you still looking for a great Christmas gift for your child this year?
One game I recommend is Riddle Moo This™ - A Silly Riddle Word Game by Learning Resources

The game targets listening and language as children  build vocabulary by identifying words based on a description. 
It’s a fruit, it can be red, and it crunches when you take a bite.” 
Buzz if you know the answer! 

The advanced gameplay involves critical thinking and expressive language skills to change one clue on the brainteaser card to create a new answer to the riddle. Like most games, it encourages listening, communication, interaction, turn taking, socialization and laughter. Patience and waiting may also be targeted by teaching and then remembering the appropriate time to hit the buzzers! It is advertised for children 5 years and up but I use it with pre-schoolers in LSL sessions.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tips For Parents - Free Communication Milestones English/Spanish

The ASHA Leader, December 2017

ASHA has partnered with Read Aloud 15 MINUTES to produce a series of seven handouts for parents with vital information on what they should expect their children to be able to do by specific ages in the areas of talking, hearing, and understanding and provide suggestions for how parents can support their children’s development. “Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5”. This free resource is available to share electronically or in print. Read Aloud 15 MINUTES is a nonprofit organization that promotes reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes to promote kindergarten readiness and literacy skills.

Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5

Monday, December 11, 2017

Looking for Holiday Gifts for School-Age Listeners?

Ten games I use in my practice that maximize listening, spoken language & communication, and the game plan!

From the CID Professional Blog. Listening and language learning can be fun and games
by guest author Lynn A. Wood MA CCC/A LSLS Cert. AVT

Friday, December 8, 2017

Who is the AVT Graduate?

Can you tell which cheerleader is one of my Auditory Verbal graduates?

 I didn't think so. You wouldn't in person either. 
She is a great listener, uses clear speech and her spoken language skills are on par with her hearing high school peers!

Competition season started! Good luck ladies!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Auditory Verbal Graduate - Honored As The Student Of The Month

Very proud of Emma who was honored today as Student of the Month at her high school of 2600+ students! Emma is a freshman,  an overcomer who has not let her hearing loss stand in the way of success. Emma is on the JV/Varsity Girls Golf Team, in Jazz dance, is an equestrian and most passionate about her horse Snoop. She is a member of the Zoology and Peer Leadership club at Lyons Township HS in a Chicago suburb.

I am thankful to have guided Emma’s family on their Auditory Verbal journey. Emma’s listens and talks, uses cochlear implants and has a lifetime success ahead.  “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

This is one of my favorite pictures of Emma holding our dog Jade.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Listening and Describing Game

One of my favorite materials at this time of year is the ”What Am I? Christmas Edition.It is for ages 3+ and I have used it with much older kids and tweens as it can be adapted to targets many Listening and Spoken Language goals. $4.00
Click HERE.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Holiday Tips For Children With Hearing Loss

The H-o-l-i-d-a-y season is upon us, which means festive music, family gatherings and special traditions. All the noise and excitement may cause communication difficulties for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Comment and let me know if you try these seven H-O-L-I-D-A-Y tips!

7 tips to make the holidays special for children with hearing loss

To make the holidays even more enjoyable and special for adults and children with hearing loss, try these seven HOLIDAY 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.

A hearing loss community brought to you by Phonak

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.