Globally, there is a great shift towards listening and spoken language for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Amazing auditory options, state-of-the-art hearing aids, and a variety of implantable hearing devices and the pursuit of excellent (re)habilitation by highly qualified practitioners working in partnerships with families, will hopefully become the standard of international health care and educational intervention for children with hearing loss around the world.
It is the work of therapists, teachers, audiologists, surgeons, social workers, and allied practitioners in health care and education to guide, navigate, and coach parents on their search for the treasure chest of spoken communication—to help them help their children discover the valued jewels of hearing, listening, and spoken conversation. Practitioners everywhere form alliances of hope and trust with parents, and together we polish these precious gems until they sparkle and dance with life.
Why would one ever consider compromising when so much is possible?
We hope that one day we will look back and see an abundance of evidence-based outcomes, all barriers to equitable service gone, and a global focus on literacy with a deep understanding of powerful auditory access to the brain provided by state-of-the-art hearing technologies.
Renaissance man and mentor of many of today’s auditory-verbal practitioners, Dr. Daniel Ling, wrote that “auditory-verbal therapy… developed as a result of the natural outcomes of advances in knowledge, skills and technology. As such advances occurred, new treatment strategies were devised to maximize their applications”.
“Auditory-Verbal Therapy is now widely accepted because more children are acquiring, or have already acquired, the abilities to use spoken language, to interact more freely with other members of society, to obtain higher levels of academic education, and to have a more extensive range of careers, a greater security of employment and fewer limitations on the personal and social aspects of their lives” (Estabrooks, 2006).