What is the
Auditory-Verbal philosophy? (PDF)
The Auditory-Verbal philosophy is a logical
and critical set of guiding principles. These principles outline the
essential requirements needed to realize the expectation that young children
with hearing loss can be educated to use even minimal amounts of amplified
residual hearing. Use of amplified residual hearing, in turn, permits
children with hearing loss to learn to listen, to process verbal language,
and to speak.
The goal of Auditory-Verbal practice is that
children with hearing loss can grow up in regular learning environments that
enable them to become independent, participating, and contributing citizens
in the mainstream society. The Auditory-Verbal philosophy supports the basic
human right that children with all degrees of hearing loss deserve an
opportunity to develop the ability to listen and use verbal communication
within their own family and community constellations.
Existing Evidence That Supports the Rationale for Auditory-Verbal Practice
1. The majority of children which hearing loss have useful
residual hearing; a fact known for decades.
2. When properly aided, children with hearing loss can
detect most if not all of the speech spectrum.
3. Once ALL available residual hearing is accessed through
amplification technology (e.g., binaural hearing aids and acoustically tuned
earmolds, FM units, cochlear implants) in order to provide maximum detection
of the speech spectrum, then a child will have the opportunity to develop
language in a natural way through the auditory modality. That is, a child
with hearing loss need not automatically be a visual learner. Hearing,
rather than being a passive modality that receives information, can be the
active agent of cognitive development.
4. In order to benefit from the "critical periods" of
neurological and linguistic development, then the identification of hearing
loss, use of appropriate amplification and medical technology, and
stimulation of hearing must occur as early as possible.
5. If hearing is not accessed during the critical language
learning years, a child's ability to use acoustic input meaningfully will
deteriorate due to physiological (retrograde deterioration of auditory
pathways), and psychosocial (attention, practice, learning) factors.
6. Current information about normal language development
provides the framework and justification for the structure of
auditory-verbal practice. That is, infants/ toddlers/ children learn
language most efficiently through consistent and continual meaningful
interactions in a supportive environment with significant caretakers.
7. As verbal language develops through the auditory input of
information, reading skills can also develops.
8. Parents in auditory-verbal programs do not have to learn
sign language or cued speech. More than ninety percent of parents of
children with hearing loss have normal hearing. Studies show that over 90%
of parents with normal hearing do not learn sign language beyond a basic
preschool level of competency. Auditory-verbal practice requires that
caregivers interact with a child through spoken language and create a
listening environment which helps a child to learn.
9. If a severe or profound hearing loss automatically makes
an individual neurologically and functionally "different" from people with
normal hearing, then the auditory-verbal philosophy would not be tenable.
The fact is however, that outcome studies show that individuals who have,
since early childhood, been taught through the active use of amplified
residual hearing, are indeed independent, speaking, and contributing members
of mainstream society.
From The Auditory-Verbal Position