Growing Up With Hearing Loss
Auditory-Verbal Method (AV): Learning to Use the Hearing that is Left
Read this page to learn what the auditory-verbal method is, and if it's right for your child.
What the auditory-verbal method is
- The word auditory (AW-di-tor-ee) refers to the ears and hearing.
The word verbal refers to the mouth and words.
- The auditory-verbal (AV) method teaches children to do these things:
- Use whatever hearing they have. (This is called residual hearing.)
- Listen. Instead of lipreading, children learn to listen.
- Speak. By listening to other people, children can learn to speak better.
How the auditory-verbal method (AV) affects children's lives
If you choose this method, you and your child may have to:
- See an AV therapist every week. Each visit lasts about an hour.
- Use hearing aids or other listening devices every day.
- Practice listening and speaking at home.
What is an AV therapist?
An AV therapist is a person who is trained in the AV method.
She can be a teacher of the deaf. She can be an audiologist. Or she can be a speech-language pathologist.
An AV therapist teaches children to listen for sounds. For example, she might:
- Use hand cues to show your child when to listen.
Some examples of hand cues are covering her mouth, or talking through a toy.
- Reword sentences so your child understands them better.
- Repeat words or sentences.
- Whisper or sing, so your child gets used to different voice sounds.
The therapist will also teach you how to help your child:
- By practicing listening and speaking every day.
- By showing your child the right way to talk.
How to decide if the AV method is the right choice for your child
Here are some facts that may help:
- The younger he is, the better.
- Starting early lets your child "exercise" his sense of hearing earlier.
- Learning to listen earlier gives your child more time to practice before school starts.
- The more he can hear, the better.
- The more he can hear, the easier it will be for him to listen.
- The more he can sit still and pay attention, the better.
- Some children have problems paying attention.
Hour-long visits to the therapist might be too much.
What other parents say
Read our Parent Talk page to see what parents said about the communication method they chose.
How to find an AV therapist in your area
For a list of AV therapists in your area, go to Auditory-Verbal International's map of therapists. Then call or e-mail Auditory-Verbal International for the therapists' contact information:
Voice: (703) 739-1049
TTY: (703) 739-0874
Fax: (703) 739-0395
Learn more about auditory-verbal therapy