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Auditory-Verbal Therapy

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago


What Auditory-Verbal Therapy? (AVT) It’s “an early intervention approach for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.”  (Estabrooks, 2006, p.1).  It’s a “sequential structured system” of strategies that focuses on the use of a newborn, an infant, a toddler, or a young deaf child’s residual hearing as the primary means of obtaining information. . http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu  “…to guide parents in helping their children develop intelligible spoken language through listening, and to coach parents in advocating their children’s inclusion in mainstream schools” is this approach’s primary goal. Specially trained therapists promote listening skills by using specific strategies Manual forms of communication such as cued speech or sign language are not employed as part of this therapy because it is thought that the use of such manual systems inhibits the acquisition of listening skills. 

AVT formally began in 1986 when International Committee on Auditory-Verbal Communication, formed in 1978, voted to establish a non profit whose purpose was to “increase the availability and effectiveness” of this therapy approach. (Estabrooks, 2006, p.2).  The provision of AVT is a specialty within the areas of deaf education, audiology, and speech-language pathology and professionals in these fields who practice AVT must adhere to the ten principals which serve as the foundation for AVT. Those principals are:


1. Promote early diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children, followed by immediate audiologic management and Auditory-Verbal therapy.

2. Recommend immediate assessment and use of appropriate, state-of-the-art hearing technology to obtain maximum benefits of auditory stimulation.

3. Guide and coach parents¹ to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing spoken language without the use of sign language or emphasis on lipreading.

4. Guide and coach parents¹ to become the primary facilitators of their child's listening and spoken language development through active consistent participation in individualized Auditory-Verbal therapy.

5. Guide and coach parents¹ to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language throughout the child's daily activities.

6. Guide and coach parents¹ to help their child integrate listening and spoken language into all aspects of the child's life.

7. Guide and coach parents¹ to use natural developmental patterns of audition, speech, language, cognition, and communication.

8. Guide and coach parents¹ to help their child self-monitor spoken language through listening.

9. Administer ongoing formal and informal diagnostic assessments to develop individualized Auditory-Verbal treatment plans, to monitor progress and to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans for the child and family.


10. Promote education in regular schools with peers who have typical hearing and with appropriate services from early childhood onwards.


There is a certification process through which a professional must go in order to be a Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist.  AVT sessions are generally conducted jointly with a therapist and the parents of the deaf child, approximately once a week for an hour or an hour and a half per session (Estabrooks, 2006, p.14) and may last anywhere from three to five years ((Estabrooks, 2006, p.313).   The whole idea is for the parent to observe, participate, and practice what is being taught so that they can incorporate what they learn into daily activities and interactions with the their child.  With this philosophy, since it is the parent who spends the most time with the child, the parents and caregivers become the agents of change.


There is some indication that AVT works.  Results of a study of 40 children who used hearing aids or cochlear implants revealed that after receiving AVT for 1 to 4 years, they had “linguistic competency at levels commensurate with peers who had normal hearing” (Rhoades & Chisholm, 2000).


Estabrooks, W. (2006). Auditory-Verbal Therapy and Practice. Washington, DC:  Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.


Rhoades, Ellen A. & Chisholm, Theresa H. (2000). Global Language Progress with an Auditory-Verbal Approach for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.Volta Review, 102(1), 5-25


Submitted by Martina Villarson

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