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Auditory-Oral & Auditory-Verbal

 Chapter 9: The Auditory-Oral Approach


Auditory-oral education helps children who are deaf or heard of hearing able to communicate through speech. These education programs help children to develop spoken language, and understand and produce spoken language.


The types of programs vary but they all have the same goal. Some of the programs may be private while others are public; some include hearing children in the class while others are only for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. But the common goal in all these programs is that they provide spoken language.

There are four major factors that influence if an auditory-oral program will be successful.

1. Early Identification

With newborn screening; hearing loss can be detected in the first few weeks of life which is a good start so an intervention can take place

2. Early Intervention in an auditory-oral program

The child has to be fitted for hearing aids right away so that spoken language can be introduced

Children learn how to talk by listening to what they hear

3. Improved technology

Cochlear implants and digitally programmable hearing aids

4. Improved teaching

Even if the child receives hearing aids at a young age they still need qualified teachers and speech pathologist to help them understand and produce spoken language


How Auditory-Oral Education Works

Before the education begins, you have to make sure that the child is receiving proper access to sound through their hearing aids or implant, so they are able to listen to the lessons that are being taught

An environment has to be established where the children understands and knows that they will be expected to listen and talk

All activities throughout the day are done in speech and the activities will help the child improve their speech

Modeling is a big part of auditory-oral education. Modeling is when the teacher first listens to the student and then corrects and/or improves their language.There are many different types of modeling that can help the students. 

The different types of modeling are:


The teacher puts emphasis on certain parts that need to be corrected. Highlighting is used with other techniques to correct the parts that need improving 


The teacher breaks up the portion that is being modeled into smaller parts; this is helpful when more than one part needs to be corrected


When the teacher fills in the missing words or parts that the child has left out

Partial modeling

The teacher gives part of the model and then the child imitates it and expands on the sentence on his own

Pull out modeling

The teacher pulls a couple of words out that the child has forgotten and focuses on them


Using questions, clues or prompts to help the child expand on their sentence


When more than one technique is used


Parents and families are an important role in the auditory-oral education programs. The parents and other family members have to always engage the child in spoken language. The auditory oral programs will help the parents learn the skills they need to help their children succeed.

Helpful Links

Provides information and materials on auditory-oral education for parents, teachers, and other professionals. Also has a list of some of the auditory-oral schools in North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

This website has a list of helpful resources for parents. 


Chapter 10: Auditory-Verbal Therapy


What is Auditory – Verbal Therapy (AVT)?

Parents and therapists work together to teach children with hearing loss to “learn to listen” in an attempt to better teach spoken communication.

What will you learn in AVT?

·         Hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other hearing technology are critical for the development of listening and spoken communication.

·         The ability to hear and listen will facilitate your child’s development of spoken communication.

·         Active participation, both in Auditory-Verbal therapy sessions and everyday activities with your child, will make listening and spoken communication happen as quickly as possible.

·         The first years of life are the critical periods of neurological and linguistic development.

·         Listening, speech, and language can be acquired as naturally as possible.

·         Your child can attend regular schools.

·         Your family will be coached, guided, and supported by a team of highly qualified professionals.

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Who does AVT Benefit?

Not all children need cochlear implants in order to learn to communicate through speech. If a child has enough residual hearing, hearing aids may be recommended instead. The aim for each of these children, however, is to “learn to listen and speak with natural sounding voices,” through Auditory – Verbal Therapy. If a child is not benefitting from AVT, the therapist will recommend a new program, along with a transition plan.

Therapy is not based on the child alone, however. Auditory-Verbal Therapy is centered on the needs of the family, and requires team effort and communication on the parts of the parents, teachers, therapist, audiologist, and anyone else central to the child’s development and education. The client in AVT is not considered to be the child, as a matter of fact. The client is considered to be the guardians of the child. The parents are expected to carry out the program at home as often as possible, while the therapist will only see the child for up to an hour and a half, twice a week. “AVT includes education, guidance, advocacy, and family support.”

What are the goals of AVT?

“Children will learn to listen and talk, to engage in meaningful conversations, be assimilated into regular educational programs, and have the same educational, social, and vocational choices as other children. “ AVT focuses on listening. Therapists often hide visual input in order to truly test what the student is hearing, and to teach them to truly listen. This means no sign language, lip reading, or pointing. In the beginning, minimal visual help may be used when necessary in order to teach the child the meaning of the word or sound. AVT uses a mix of play and fun activities as well as structured therapy activities in order to develop the child’s listening skills.

Goals for the child are based on development patterns of children with typical hearing. The key is to incorporate the activities from therapy sessions into every day routines.

Auditory-Verbal Therapy celebrates:

·         The whole child through the development of skills in hearing, listening, speech, language, cognition, and communication;

·         The inclusion of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in regular classrooms;

·         Full family involvement at every stage of the child’s development.

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Who are your Auditory – Verbal Therapists?

“Therapists can be audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and/or teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing. All qualified AVT therapists must be certified by the Academy for Listening and Spoken Language at the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.” Each therapist is required to pass a practical exam, as well as a theoretical exam and must continue to receive professional education annually to keep his or her certification.

Parents will learn to:

·         Model techniques for stimulating speech, language, and communication activities at home;

·         Plan strategies to integrate listening, speech, language, and communication activities into daily routines and experiences;

·         Communicate as partners in the therapy process;

·         Inform the therapist of your child’s interests and abilities;

·         Interpret the meaning of your child’s early communication;

·         Develop appropriate behavior management techniques;

·         Record and discuss progress;

·         Interpret short-term and long-term goals;

·         Develop confidence in parent-child interaction;

·         Make informed decisions; and

·         Advocate on behalf of your child

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Online Resources: Alexander Graham Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language website Auditory-Verbal Center and Audiology & Hearing Aid Clinic


**Information came from Schwartz, S. "Choices in Deafness: A Parents' Guide to Communication Options"; Woodbine House, Bethesda, MD, 2007**