Friday, March 24, 2017

How To Use Audiobooks In Auditory Rehabilitation

Do you ever listen to audiobooks? 
Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient art-forms. Stories have been passed on by word of mouth to entertain, educate and inform from generation to generation, long before recorded history.
Although these oral traditions have changed, the desire to TELL and HEAR stories remained constant. This is why hearing loss can have such a significant impact on everyday life.
The sudden change in hearing ability after receiving new hearing aids or cochlear implants impacts most aspects of your life, but listening exercises can vastly improve one’s auditory skills.
Those who are unable to participate in conversations can experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, and frustration. Thankfully, there are ways to rehabilitate from the loss of hearing, through technology and auditory training.
Home Based Rehab Using Audiobooks
Audiobook exercises can be conducted at home or as part of an Auditory Rehab program. A Rehab Specialist, such as a rehab audiologist, an auditory verbal therapist or speech pathologist, can guide and coach you on the strategy, as well as recommend sessions where family or significant others can join in and learn effective communication techniques. Therapy-based services can help you successfully put the pieces of the communication puzzle together.
Today, a new era of oral storytelling or audio books is booming with mobile technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and multimedia entertainment systems in cars and podcasts over the internet.
Audiobooks, especially, are easily accessible and an enjoyable way to practice listening that can be completed independently at your own pace. They are particularly useful for patients who might have difficulty finding a suitable conversational partner. Auditory training at home with audio books and the corresponding texts is an enjoyable rehabilitation option that spans the scope of a beginner to experienced cochlear implant user.

How To Begin With Audiobooks?

READ ON AT:  How to use audiobooks for hearing rehab

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Middle Ear Issues and Pre-Existing Hearing Loss - Lynn's Advice For Parents


 Written By: Lynn A. Wood, M.A. CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT. 
If your child with hearing loss has middle ear fluid, this is a call to action for prompt and aggressive management. The presence of fluid or infection in the middle ear space behind the eardrum may prevent your child’s access to sound. 
Of course, hearing loss of any type and degree blocks the doorway to get auditory information the child’s brain, but even fluid alone can fluctuate and cause 5dB to as much as 40dB decrease in hearing (Estabrooks, et. al., 2016). Couple this to a pre-existing loss and a moderate hearing loss can become severe or profound. Persistent middle ear fluid has negative consequences on auditory, spoken language and cognitive development.

Understanding Middle Ear Fluid
Last week, Marge Edwards shared her story about her son’s experience with middle ear fluid. The big takeaway is that middle ear fluid is common with estimates that 75% of children experience at least one episode by their third birthday. And, almost half of these children will have three or more ear infections during their first three years. In fact, children who are not breastfed, those attending large child care centers and living in homes with smoke present (cigarettes, wood stoves) are more likely to experience repeated ear fluid or infections.

Many children with Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) also known as middle ear fluid, experience chronic recurrence and with accompanying colds or allergies, can have middle ear fluid  for many months of the year. Any decrease in hearing caused by fluid means poorer auditory access and has detrimental effects on a child’s spoken language development. This can significantly affect listening and spoken language outcomes for children with hearing loss!

How can you and your LSL professional team work together? You will need to work closely to monitor your child’s hearing status. A positive LSL outcome requires that you stay the course in monitoring your child’s hearing status through daily listening checks and performing the Ling Six-Sound Test. Share any change in your child’s responses with the members of your LSL professional team.

The journey to listen and talk requires a team committed to monitoring, treating and addressing the causes and symptoms of middle ear fluid. Don’t wait!

OME and the Role of the Pediatric Audiologist ...
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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Parent's Guide For Middle Ear Fluid + Coexisting Sensori-Neural Hearing Loss


This month we’re highlighting a topic that doesn’t get a lot of attention but can be a huge factor for children with hearing loss and their families: middle ear infection. Read along to hear one parent explain her family’s struggle with middle ear infection and how important it is to ask the right questions about middle ear fluid with your child’s medical professionals to combat one of the barriers that can keep your child from hearing critical sounds!


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, March 22, 2017

Lynn’s LSL Dollhouse Continuum

  • A recent discussion prompted me to share strategies that I incorporate when introducing a dollhouse in my AVT sessions. I guess I could refer to it as, Lynn’s AVT Dollhouse Continuum. Ha!
    1. First, I introduce a basic version of an LSL rich and classic Goldilocks and Three Bears story. We listen and learn the story using simple props including three bears,  a kitchen table, three size bowls for the hot/cold and just right porridge, three chairs, three beds - hard/soft/just right. 
    2. Then in a couple weeks or so, I include a very basic dollhouse in the story. We play and retell the story together.
    Over the years, I have learned to keep the materials simple. If I would share a busy dollhouse too soon many children would become overstimulated, excited, and want to do their own thing with the house.  Then, my LSL goals and plans go out the window ( A little pun!).
    3. Soon, we are ready to introduce a full or more elaborate dollhouse within the LSL session and at home.  
    4. I divide lessons on the “HOME”, by rooms of the house. Each of the lessons includes literature, songs and accompanied LSL activities to meet the child’s needs and goals.  We listen, learn and expand upon the rooms of the house that were introduced in the story. We target LSL goals through individual units on bathtime, bedtime, mealtime routines, doing the laundry, in the garage, parts of the house (ceiling, chimney, gutters, porch…) and then outside of the home and into the yard. The Three Bears going for a walk blends into a “Listening Walk”  as well as learning outdoor vocabulary.
    4. My LSL continuum often begins in January with the Three Bears Story and carries through the Spring. Outdoor summer themes are next. The same themes can be repeated this next year at a higher LSL level. Of course, the house is only one area or theme but the continuity is rich for LSL. 
    5. I guide the family and plan the LSL sessions to include the broad areas of:  
    House vocabulary/labels, Action Verbs, Categorizing items in the house, Basic Concepts including Prepositions, Go -Togethers,  Parts of The Whole, Sequencing, Answering “wh” questions, Following/Giving Directions and social/pragmatic skills and play.
    As you can see the dollhouse continuum and thematic room by room units are ideal for targeting and reaching typical goals for a 2-4 year olds.
    This topic is near and dear to my heart as my husband and I gave our two-year-old grandson a wooden dollhouse last December. I researched the options and highly recommend the Hi-Rise Wooden Dollhouse for a clinic, school or family.  It has gender-neutral colors and patterns, a natural-wood frame, and open sides with access every room so it's easy to talk and play together. Our grandson particularly loves the garage and the wooden car that the family rides. I also purchased a wooden animal pet set which adds to our animal lover’s dollhouse experience.
    There in no limit to listening, spoken language, learning and fun with a dollhouse! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SMART 911” Could Save Your Life!

Smart 911 is a FREE online resource.

With Smart911, you can add key information about hearing loss for yourself or members of your household in the event of an emergency, whether the call is from the home or any mobile phone. You create a profile, add relevant information such as address, phone number plus optional information. You can add additional phone numbers that are associated with your household, cell or landline, etc. Most importantly, you can include information about your medical condition, disability, etc.  

Once a profile is submitted, Smart 911 forwards that information to the appropriate PSAP (public safety answering point) which is the local 911 call center that services the phone numbers associated with your profile. When a 911 call is placed from any of those numbers, all submitted information (including medical, disability or access and special needs) is displayed on the screen at the 911 center and will be communicated to the responding agencies. 

This service is free of charge. For more information go to

Saturday, March 11, 2017

MARCH Listening and Spoken Language Calendar

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


Thursday, March 9, 2017


Teresa Blankmeyer Burke considers the problematic nature of gene therapy research aimed at eliminating hereditary deafness.
"Members of the signing Deaf community argue that research which aims to eliminate or cure deafness is a form of cultural genocide. The argument goes like this: the use of gene therapy to cure hereditary deafness would result in smaller numbers of deaf children. This, in turn, would reduce the critical mass of signing Deaf people needed for a flourishing community, ultimately resulting in the demise of the community."
Read on .... HERE

How The Simple Yet Powerful Listening Check Became Known As The Ling Test.

I want to commend Ellie White, MS MAEd, CED and Jenna Voss, Ph.D., CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd for including in their book, Small Talk: Bringing Listening and Spoken Language to Your Young Child with Hearing Loss (pg. 148) how the simple yet powerful listening check became known as the Ling Test. I am confident many of the LSL professionals today never knew Dan or were taught by him. He was a tremendous friend and without Dan’s early referrals I may not be in private practice today.

Some of our members in the Community may not be familiar with, The Ling Consortium named in honor of the foundational work and extraordinary contributions of the late Dr. Daniel Ling, O.C. a pioneer of Auditory-Verbal practice for children with hearing loss. It is an international consortium of professionals developing and delivering globally recognized university-based courses on listening and spoken language for children with hearing loss.

The  Consortium offers videos from Dr. Daniel Ling at the Auditory Verbal Learning Institute (AVLI) at the University of Ottawa in 2002. 

Video 1 - Assessment of speech

Video 2 - The speech signal in acquiring listening and spoken language

Video 3 - Crucial bases of the Ling System

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Auditory Verbal Graduate Accepts Illinois Academic Scholarship

I am honored that Auditory Verbal Graduate, Teja Vontikommu invited me to accompany him as he accepted the Jacki Marcus Memorial academic college scholarship awarded by the Illinois Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I am privileged to have guided his parents along the AVT journey. Teja and a rich future and will major in business or pre-med.

Jacki Marcus Memorial Academic College Scholarship

In 1992, the ITDHH Executive Board established a student scholarship fund to recognize deaf and hard of hearing high school seniors who wish to continue their education in a college, pre-college, or vocational program.  In 2009, the scholarship was renamed in memory of Jacki Marcus, who served deaf and hard of hearing students in Illinois in many capacities throughout her career and was a long-standing board member of ITDHH.  Jacki was instrumental in the development and continuation of this scholarship, and her legacy of advocating and supporting deaf and hard of hearing students in Illinois will continue.  The scholarships are based on the motivation and future plans of the students. These monetary awards may be used for tuition, room, and board, or classroom materials. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Written by Emma Claire Richards, 14

Congratulations to all of the children, adults, and families who struggle every day with a hearing impaired loved one.  Today is our day!

I was born with hearing at birth in 2002, in 2005 I was diagnosed with a sensorineural hearing loss in which I wore hearing aids until they couldn’t help me hear anymore.  Within the next few years, I became profoundly deaf and was implanted with cochlear implants by Dr. Nancy Young at Lurie Children’s Hospital here in Chicago.

With the help of Dr. Young along with Mrs. Lynn Wood, my auditory verbal therapist, from the Auditory Verbal Center of Wheaton in IL  who gave me a chance at life by hearing again! 

For all of the doctors, specialists, community teachers, advocates and my friends that once told my parents that I would have a hard life living as a deaf child, I may be shunned by not staying in the deaf community, people may give up on me, friends may turn their backs on me due to an impairment and disability, and the outlook as I grow older would be bleak, this is what I’d like to say to all of them… hear me now!

I am in 8th grade at McClure Junior High in Western Springs, Illinois.  I live a normal life like any person with hearing except I have to work a bit harder every day to hear somewhat normal.   I played the piano, I played the violin,  I was an All-Star on my softball team, I was in my school’s play, I attend dance classes, I love to swim, I win awards for my art, I play on The Chicago Highlands Golf Club’s PGA, Jr. golf league and I am a competitive equestrian rider with the IDTCA and IEA.  I love to hang out with my friends that believe in me, I love my parents for teaching me to be me and I love my brother that argues with me every day as if I was normal even though I can tune him out and turn my ears off.

I’m Emma Clare Richards, 14  “Nothing will hold me back, not even being deaf”!