• Vol. 34 No. 4, 307–312
  • 15 May 2005

Auditory-Verbal Therapy for Children with Hearing Impairment



The new millennium has brought about great innovation and advancement in hearing technology, early detection and intervention. This in turn has altered expectations of what children with hearing impairment are really capable of in terms of listening, developing spoken language, and academic and social performance. In Singapore, with Universal Newborn Hearing Screening in place, babies with hearing impairment can be detected early and early intervention implemented by 6 months of age. To benefit from the “critical periods” of acoustic neurological and linguistic development, early identification of hearing impairment, medical intervention, use of appropriate amplification technology and effective habilitation are vital. Auditory-Verbal practice emphasises listening to access auditory information, so that these children have the opportunity to develop intelligible speech and spoken language. Auditory-Verbal practice supports ongoing individualised diagnostic therapy with parent participation, guidance, education and support by an Auditory-Verbal specialist. The goal of Auditory-Verbal therapy is to enable children with hearing loss to grow up in regular learning and living environments so that they can become independent, participating and contributing citizens in mainstream society

In recent years, rapid technological advancement in the education of the hearing-impaired has taken place. Early intervention is now possible with the advent of diagnostic equipment capable of objectively and accurately screening and confirming hearing loss even in neonates. No baby is too young to be tested. The use of modern hearing technology, such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants, has enabled children who are deaf or hard of hearing to obtain maximum acoustic neurological benefits. Never before in the history of education of the deaf have these children had such hearing potential. Through hearing, all the features of speech can be assessed. As a result, children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the opportunity to develop spoken language through listening. With early detection, early amplification and effective individualised Auditory-Verbal therapy with parent participation, up to 80% of children born deaf can potentially be successful in mainstream education and society.

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