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Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Deaf & Hard of Hearing

What does being Deaf mean? Having a hearing loss of such severity that communication and learning is done primarily by visual methods (i.e., sign language, writing, lip-reading, or gestures)

What is Hard of Hearing?

Having some degree of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound. People who are hard of hearing may benefit from the use of hearing aids or other assistive listening devices. They depend primarily upon spoken language in communicating with others.


What causes hearing loss?

The following are some of the major causes of hearing loss:

  • Age

  • Noise induced hearing loss

  • Genetic

  • Illness

  • Neurological disorders

  • Medications

  • Chemicals

  • Physical trauma

  • Neurobiological factors

Is there treatment for hearing loss?

Several options are available for hearing loss, ranging from medical treatment to listening devices, such as hearing aids. 

  • Hearing aids

  • Implanted hearing devices (i.e., cochlear implants)

  • Assistive listening devices, alerting devices, and other communication aids


Types of Treatment

Listening and Spoken Language Therapy (LSLS) “Auditory-Verbal Therapy”: This treatment helps your child to develop listening skills. When children can process what they hear they can learn to speak clearly. The goals of Listening and Spoken Language therapy:

  • Early diagnosis of hearing loss; treatment beginning as young as 3 months of age

  • Full time use of hearing devices

  • One- on-one speech therapy to meet your child’s needs

  • Parents and caregivers participate in treatment

  • Sign language and other visual methods of intervention are not used

  • Hearing aids and cochlear implant(s) are the child’s link to the hearing-speaking world

  • Children may be in a regular classroom with classmates who can hear and speak

  • Children learn independence and self-advocacy

  • Hearing is a part of the child’s personality. The Principles of LSLS Auditory-Verbal Therapy and Principles of LSLS Auditory-Verbal Education are followed in this intervention approach.

Auditory-Oral or Auditory-Based Speech Therapy: makes the most of Auditory-Verbal plans in relation to optimizing listening development but also includes lip reading. The goals of Auditory-based therapy include:

  • Full-time use of hearing devices

  • Speech pathologist may stress lip-reading and visual cues by “watching” to learn language

  • Sign language is not used

  • The hope is to close the gap between the child’s actual age and performance

  • The child is urged to develop oral skills so he or she can function in a hearing community.

  • Early diagnosis and intervention is critical to this method

  • The family participates in speech therapy sessions.

  • Your child often attends an oral educational program specific for children with hearing loss or a mainstream educational setting.

Total Communication Speech Therapy

Total Communication Speech Therapy: a combination of sign and spoken communication.

The goals of Total Communication speech therapy include:

  • Encourage full time use of hearing technology

  • Speech pathologist supports the child’s language, listening, and speech development through use of picture symbols on devices such as iPads, as well as sign language, visual cues, and spoken input

  • Use every and all means to communicate with a child who has hearing loss

  • Exposure to sign language, natural gestures, and speech reading

  • **At least one, but preferably all family members are encouraged to learn sign language to communicate fully with a child using this system.

  • Parents must always sign while speaking

How to Choose a Communication Option:

  • Families often choose a communication option based on their child’s needs and their family dynamic.

  • Professionals can guide and coach a family based on the following factors:

  • Age and diagnosis: age when therapy services were started

  • Cochlear anatomy

  • Does the child have any other developmental disabilities or delays?

  • Does the child have the ability to use his or her hearing technology during all waking hours?

  • What is the family’s plan for educational environment? (immediate and long term needs are considered)

  • What is the family’s ability to use the desired communication method?

  • Does the family have the appropriate resources and support?

  • What are the family’s goals for their child? (long and short term goals are considered)

Auditory, Speech and Language Therapy

  • Speech therapy typically starts after the child has been fitted with appropriate hearing technology

  • Your child must arrive with his or her hearing technology on and in good working order.

  • Your child will be scheduled with a therapist based on his or her ability to communicate.

  • The primary caregiver should sit in during the session and join in as guided by the speech-language pathologist.

  • The speech-language pathologist will give your child goals and targets to work on at home.

  • During the session the caregiver may take notes to know what to work on for the following week. The carry-over of goals into the home setting is essential for your child’s progress.

  • Lesson plans are created for your child’s individual level and needs.

  • You will know how your child is doing during each session.

  • Goals are created to address your child’s speech, language, listening, cognitive, and literacy development

  • Materials are often provided for home practice and carry-over

Learn More about….

For More Information or To Book An Appointment, Please Call:

(702) 979-4268

SFS Therapies
Providing The Means To Achieve

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