Monday, August 12, 2019

Do Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Techniques and Strategies Only Benefit Babies and Toddlers?

Recently, I replied to this question from a Teacher of the Deaf 

Q: Can Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Techniques and Strategies benefit children in the classroom who are 5 and up?  Many of the webinars I've seen the focus is on therapy for babies and toddlers, so I'm curious as to how these techniques will translate to a class of 4-9 school-aged children. I really want to ensure that my students are ready for inclusion settings/mainstream classes.

A: My reply to a great question

I am positive LSL techniques and strategies are beneficial to school-aged students and others! 

My LSL caseload has predominately been with families of babies through kindergarten. However, I have guided families of older children who continued to require intervention for many reasons such as those transitioning from a visual system such as Cued Speech, those identified late such as cross-cultural adoptions, others with autism, hearing loss plus other disabilities and so on.  The same LSL strategies and techniques (Audition First, Auditory Sandwich, What Did You Hear? Etc.)  which place emphasis on learning spoken language through listening apply to all ages with a wide range of needs and goals. I have provided LSL intervention to improve auditory skills and receptive language of children who are non-verbal and those on augmentative communication devices. The same LSL strategies and techniques can be effective when incorporated with teens and adults in post CI rehabilitation.  These LSL techniques can be powerful as a part of therapy for individuals with auditory processing disorders. So unequivocally yes!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Read Early. Read Often.

My grandson has been read to every day of his life.
 He loves books. He loves his new baby brother.
 So naturally, he reads to his little brother.

Read Early. Read Often.

Do you know that beginning early is important because the roots of language are developing in a baby’s brain even before he can talk? The more words a baby hears over time, the more words he learns.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Auditory-Verbal Practice is the approach that results in Listening and Spoken Language outcomes.

The terminology:
Auditory-Verbal Practice is the approach that results in Listening and Spoken Language outcomes. For parents as the end consumer making decisions for their child regarding their desired outcome, Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) is easily understood and more clearly communicates with parents about the outcomes possible today.  
The titles of specialization are:
• The Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert. AVT) and
• The Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory-Verbal Educator (LSLS Cert. AVEd)
These names honor our history in the field as well as the language of the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language. Hearing First has written a blog on this topic that you might find interesting. The Power of A Name

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Auditory Comprehension Exceeds Reading Comprehension

Do you want to grow your child's listening and spoken language skills?

 Continue to read aloud to your child even after they can read to themselves. 

Kids’ auditory comprehension is higher than their reading comprehension. When you pick a challenging book that your kids can’t read on their own, you are exposing them to a wealth of new vocabulary words. This stretches a child’s language development, particularly if you stop to talk about the meaning of these harder words.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I Wonder!

 This morning we found a bird’s nest on the sidewalk. My four-year-old grandson wondered about the baby birds, what happened to the eggshells and how the nest ended up on the sidewalk and … so much more!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Auditory Verbal Graduate - Plans to Obtain her M.D.- Ph.D. and Pursue Research in Otolaryngology.

Congratulations to one of my auditory verbal graduates Caroline Yuk who is a psychology and biology major combined with a minor in computing technological sciences. She plans to obtain her M.D.- Ph.D. and pursue research in Otolaryngology.  As a cochlear implant recipient, she understands first-hand the importance of merging technology with medicine. Caroline was recently awarded an AG Bell’s scholarship for students with hearing loss to Engage in Auditory Research Program (STEMM-HEAR), supported by the Hearst Foundations. 

Read more about her in the lastest Volta Voices AG Bell magazine. 

Where does the time go? 
I was Caroline's oldest brother's auditory verbal therapist and also Caroline's the youngest of a set of twins. 

I  am honored to have worked closely with this committed family who did what it took for their children to accomplish a listening and spoken language outcome.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ten Books A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Oldie but a goodie article by my dear friend Lea Donovan Watson, MA CCC/ SLP Cert. AVT.

Children learn to read by being read to. So Read! 
Reading is auditory!
Read ten books a day!” 

Reading books that are a little above the language level of your child is important so that the child is hearing the more advanced language structure.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

It's Mother Goose Day So Celebrate!

 Hey, Diddle Diddle is a classic rhyme but how does a dish run away with the spoon?
 It doesn’t matter! Mother Goose characters and songs are just fun! 
Babies love to be bounced to the rhythm of Giddy-up Horsey.
 A toy spider makes Itsy Bitsy Spider come alive for toddlers.
 Hunt for dog bones while learning Old Mother Hubbard.
Act out Humpty Dumpty with a hard-boiled egg and toy horses.

Humpty Dumpty in Auditory Verbal Therapy

Children first learn to follow intonation patterns then imitate actions, repeat main words and soon start singing.  Remember to use hearing first. Start a song before showing your child the motions.  Then, say the first line of a rhyme such as Jack and Jill went up a ... or Twinkle, Twinkle little.... Pause and lean in with an expectant look. Encourage your child to respond by singing the next words. 
Older children can play a game with matching pictures or toys.  Clue your child to listen and then slowly recite the nursery rhyme. Pause at a keyword that has a matching toy or picture card.  Nursery Rhyme puzzles work great for this task. Each time your child hears one of the keywords, they can hold up that toy or card.
 Do you know Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the Alphabet Song share the same tune? Hum this tune while your child listens. Here is the challenge, can they identify the song words with the matching melody?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Humor and Listening and Spoken Language Learning

Put your toddler in a bathtub with no water or give them a juice box without a straw. Read a book upside down to your preschooler or serve ice cream sundaes for dinner. April Fools! 

Silly faces, peekaboo, and unexpected tickles connect toddlers and parents.  Funny business, like silly words to a song or wearing underwear as a hat tickles a child’s sense of humor. Plan fun April Fool’s pranks to create a reason for your child to think, listen and talk.

Kid’s get a kick out of talking about silly situations. Slapstick humor leads to understanding riddles, knock-knock jokes, puns and even sarcasm for older kids. Humor is evidence of brain development and growing listening, spoken language and social skills.

Overused Questions

“What color is that?”
Your child is likely thinking, “It’s red. 
You know that!  
So why are you asking?”  

Why as parents do we ask the same boring, overused questions?

Try saying things like,

“I like the colors you used”. 

“It looks like you loved drawing this picture.”

“Draw something that makes you happy.”.

It is easy and important to turn your questions into comments to foster two-way conversations. 

St. Patty's Day and Early Descriptive Language Learnng

St. Patrick’s Day is all about leprechauns, pots of gold and colorful rainbows. 

But did you know that there is little need to talk about COLORS with your child who is deaf or hard of hearing?  

Once your child uses COLORS to describe they become the easy go-to adjective.

A red apple, the yellow sun, a green frog… 

Children easily learn the colors and then commonly over-use color words in their spoken language learning.

Rather model, expand and talk with your child by describing how the frog hops, has big eyes and can swim in the water.

Isn't this more language-rich than describing the frog is green?

Monday, March 11, 2019

1, 2, 3, FOR ME! Shamrock Game

Listen, find 3 things that are living, things with a hole, things that are lucky... and explain why. Give your child a turn to think of and ask the categories. 

Any little trinkets and toys will do! 
Best of luck!

Monday, February 25, 2019

International Cochlear Implant Day 2.25.19

International cochlear Implant day is a time to celebrate your child’s hearing and technology. Encourage your child to become the Boss of their Hearing Loss. Can your child put on their cochlear implant headpieces or their hearing aids? Does your young child ask for a repetition when they did not hear?  Preschoolers may say, “What does ____mean?” or “Did you say ___?” for clarification. Begin today helping your child learn to be self-advocates for their LSL success.

Monday, February 18, 2019

President's Day and Preschool Listening and Spoken Language Fun

Introduce your child to the Presidents in a way that sparks their curiosity. 
Talk about the coins in your pocket. 

Sort the money in piles by size, color, President’s faces and if they are clean or dirty. Separate the dirty pennies and use vinegar and salt to clean and polish them. 

Talk about what is different/same about the pennies. Make it easy for your child to start a conversation and go back and forth a few times.

Finally, have your child count the pennies and add them to their piggy bank.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Cochlear Celebration 2019

I spy a couple teens I know 👋🏼👋🏼

Can’t wait to hear about Cochlear Celebration 2019 ! 

Thanks for the pic!
AV Graduate living the LSL Life!

LSL Leads to Beautiful Destinaitons

Enjoyable brunch with Ally, one of my Auditory Verbal graduates and her Mom Lisa. Unstoppable Ally, a high school senior has already been accepted at her 1st choice university. Grateful that your parents allowed me to guide them along the LSL (listening and spoken language) journey. We’ve come a long way together but challenging roads lead to beautiful destinations. 

(We really should have taken our photo before walking out the door.)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Listening Lynn's Valentine Hunt

It only takes a few minutes to prepare for a listening and language rich Valentine Hunt. Cut up paper hearts and place them around the house. Give your child a bag to collect all the paper hearts they find. 

Cue your child to LISTEN then say the clues through hearing alone. 

 “A heart is under the table.” 
“A heart is on the chair.”
 “A valentine is where you brush your teeth
 or hang your coat.”

 Let your child HEAR the clue before you point to the heart.
 Ear contact before eye contact is critical to growing your child’s brain for auditory skills.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Groundbreaking Research for LSL Outcomes For Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Have you read Hearing First's latest white paper,

 “Mission: Probable - Age-Appropriate Listening and Spoken Language Abilities for Children with Hearing Loss.”?

Hearing First partnered with Dr. Jace Wolfe to create a paper summarizing the recent landmark research studies that show evidence that infants and children with hearing loss can achieve outstanding listening and spoken language outcomes. This paper also includes practical ways you can apply the research to your journey and optimize the outcomes of your child with hearing loss. 

If you’re the parent of a child with hearing loss, an LSL professional, or someone who’s interested in the research showing that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen and talk, this white paper is for you! 

 Follow Hearing First, then you can now download the paper and read the summaries of groundbreaking research for LSL outcomes! Register for the Professional Learning community or the Parent to Parents Support Community

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Celebrate Everything - Groundhog's Day.

Do you celebrate Groundhog Day? 

A groundhog burrow bundt cake is our family's tradition.

Celebrate Everything.
It's fun, language rich and creates wonderful memories.

Aria - The Word Snatcher

I met Aria at a few months of age when she began auditory verbal therapy. Her parents were still in shock of her diagnosis but have never let profound hearing loss define their family. It is hard to believe Aria's Mom was not an English speaker when we first met. They learned English together.

This family does what it takes, follows the LSL Auditory Verbal Principles and have not wavered in their dedication and commitment for Aria to learn to listen and talk, which powers literacy, academic and lifetime success. Today Aria hears with two cochlear implants, uses Listening and Spoken Language is an independent middle schooler with many friends and interests. Aria is a talented illustrator, a lover of art, an avid reader and an obsessive fan of Harry Potter. She has the musical Hamilton memorized! 

Last week, Aria acted in her school play, the Phantom Tollbooth. Ironically, Aria played the part of the Word Snatcher. Way to go Aria!

Aria and I in May of 2017 at her art show.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Hear On Learning Videos For Families of Children identified with Permanent Hearing Loss.

The Hear On suite of learning videos was created for families of children identified with permanent hearing loss. They were each created with a clear parent need for information in mind.  They are roughly ordered as we think parents may best make use of them. But of course each family has their own particular journey. 

The videos start with the first ABR appointment and move on from there. Watch them in order, or jump around as you like. Invite others important to your child's care to come watch as well. Welcome. Please come back often to see if we have posted something new.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Auditory Verbal Graduate Marches in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade

Congrats to Ally Breen one of my auditory verbal graduates who marched today in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade with Illinois’s Lincoln-Way Central High School Marching Band and Colorguard. 
Ally hears with bilateral cochlear implants and represents children with hearing loss who use Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) to reach their full potential. LSL powers spoken language, literacy, and lifetime success. If you want to know more about LSL head over to

Ally a junior in HS has received early acceptance at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee her dream college.  So proud of you Ally! No limits.