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What is Listening and Spoken Language?

What is Listening and Spoken Language?

"Early intervention" is a term that medical and other professionals use to describe the identification and treatment of developmental or physical challenges from birth until three years of age.

When it comes to an infant or child who is deaf or hard of hearing, early intervention is extremely important because the human brain is programed to learn language during the first six years of life-with the first three-and-a-half years being the most critical. Without intervention, it becomes increasingly difficult to acquire language as a child grows older.

The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or worsen. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork and interpersonal relationships. In fact, infants and young children whose hearing loss is detected early and who receive appropriate and timely intervention have an excellent chance to develop these important life skills alongside their hearing peers.

 The Listening and Spoken Language approach to language development teaches infants and young children with hearing loss to listen and talk with the support of hearing technology such as hearing aids, assistive listening devices (such as an FM system) or cochlear implants.

Hearing technology provides auditory stimulation and sets the stage for the development of listening while spoken language therapy teaches the child how to “listen” with the device and to translate what he or she is hearing into spoken language. In nearly every case, a child needs hearing technology that is appropriately fitted and worn 100 percent of his waking hours in addition to listening and spoken language therapy to develop an outcome.

The earlier the infant has access to auditory stimulation, the earlier he or she can take advantage of the benefits of “hearing,” or listening, and learn to talk, thus learning spoken language.

Parents and caregivers receive counseling and support in their role as the child’s most important teacher of language, learning how to stimulate their child’s speech and language production. The goal is for the child to attend his local school and learn in the general (regular) classroom, like other children his or her same age. -AG Bell 

Kayleigh works on her listening and spoken language skills with her speech-language pathologist

Kayleigh works on her listening and spoken language skills with her speech-language pathologist.