About AVI…

Auditory-Verbal International, Inc (AVI) is a privatenon-profit international membership organization whose principle objective is to promotelistening and speaking as a way of life for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.AVI’s goals are to heighten public awareness of the auditory-verbal approach, ensurecertification standards for Auditory-Verbal clinicians and teachers, provide qualityeducational opportunities for parents and professionals, and facilitate networking amongthe professional and lay communities. The goal of the auditory-verbal approach is forchildren who are deaf or hard of hearing to grow up in regular classrooms and livingenvironments and to become independent, participating citizens in mainstream society. [click here for additional information]

About the Auditory-Verbal Philosophy…

The auditory-verbal approach is based upon a logical andcritical set of guiding principles which enable children whoare deaf or hard of hearing to learn to use even minimal amounts of amplified residualhearing or hearing through electrical stimulation (cochlear implants) to listen, toprocess verbal language, and to speak.

The goal of the auditory-verbal approach is for children who are deaf or hard of hearingto grow up in typical learning and living environments and to become independent,participating citizens in mainstream society. The auditory-verbal philosophy supports theoption for children with all degrees of hearing impairment to develop the ability tolisten and to use verbal communication within their own family and communityconstellations.

Existing Evidence that Supports the Rationale forAuditory-Verbal Practice…

  1. The majority of children with hearing loss have useful residual hearing; a fact known for decades (Bezold & Siebenmann, 1908; Goldstein, 1939; Urbantschitsch, 1982).
  2. When properly aided, children with hearing loss can detect most if not all of the speech spectrum (Beebe, 1953; Goldstein, 1939; Johnson, 1975; Johnson, 1976; Ling, 1989; Ling & Ling 1978,; Pollack, 1970, 1984; Ross & Calvert, 1984).
  3. Once ALL available residual hearing is accessed through amplification technology (e.g., binaural hearing aids and acoustically tuned earmolds, FM units, cochlear implants) in order to provide maximum detection of the speech spectrum, then a child will have the opportunity to develop language in a natural way through the auditory modality. That is, a child with hearing loss need not automatically be a visual learner. Hearing, rather than being a passive modality that receives information, can be the active agent of cognitive development (Boothroyd, 1982; Goldberg & Lebahn, 1990; Robertson & Flexer, 1990; Ross & Calvert, 1984).
  4. In order to benefit from the “critical periods” of neurological and linguistic development, then the identification of hearing loss, use of appropriate amplification and medical technology, and stimulation of hearing must occur as early as possible (Clopton & Winfield, 1976; Johnson & Newport, 1989; Lennenberg, 1967; Marler, 1970; Newport, 1990).
  5. If hearing is not accessed during the critical language learning years, a child’s ability to use acoustic input meaningfully will deteriorate due to physiological (retrograde deterioration of auditory pathways), and psychosocial (attention, practice, learning) factors (Evans, Wester, & Cullen 1983; Merzenich & Kaas, 1982; Patchett, 1977; Robertson & Irvine, 1989; Webster, 1983).
  6. Current information about normal language development provides the framework and justification for the structure of Auditory-Verbal practice. That is, infants/toddlers/children learn language most efficiently through consistent and continual meaningful interactions in a supportive environment with significant caretakers (Kretschmer & Kretschmer, 1978; Lennenberg, 1967; Leonard, 1991; Ling, 1989, MacDonald & Gillette, 1989; Menyuk, 1977; Ross, 1990).
  7. As verbal language develops through the auditory input of information, reading skills can also develop (Geers & Moog, 1989; Ling, 1989; Robertson & Flexer, 1990).
  8. Parents in Auditory-Verbal programs do not have to learn sign language or cued speech. More than ninety percent of parents of children with hearing loss have normal hearing (Moores, 1987). Studies show that over ninety percent of parents with normal hearing do not learn sign language beyond a basic preschool level of competency (Luetke-Stahlman & Moeller, 1987). Auditory-Verbal practice requires that caregivers interact with a child through spoken language and create a listening environment which helps a child to learn.
  9. If a severe or profound hearing loss automatically makes an individual neurologically and functionally “different” from people with normal hearing (Furth, 1964; Myklebust & Brutton, 1953), then the Auditory-Verbal philosophy would not be tenable. The fact is, however, that outcome studies show that individuals who have, since early childhood, been taught through the active use of amplified residual hearing, are indeed independent, speaking, and contributing members of mainstream society (Goldberg & Flexer, 1991; Ling, 1989; Yoshinaga-Itano & Pollack; 1989).


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