WHAT WE THINK WE BECOME (BUDDHA) AND WHAT WE HEAR IS WHAT WE SPEAK (Hear Me Speak)

A Session Summary to understand how speech is developed in children with hearing loss!

The first and foremost thing every parent of a child with hearing loss asks is, ‘when will my child start speaking?’

One needs to understand that speaking is directly related to our listening experience.

So when do we start hearing? And what is the difference between Hearing and Listening?

Typically in human beings, the hearing ability is functional by the 20th week of gestation. This means that at birth typical hearing infants have 20 weeks of auditory neural experience, in utero.

So the point to understand here is that in kids with congenital hearing loss, the brain didn’t get access to those sounds which had been presented before birth. Therefore if the hearing loss is diagnosed at the age of six months, the auditory deprivation for the brain has been for ten months already, leading to speech and language delay.

We all hear with the brain; the ears are just a doorway ( Carol Flexor) and the hearing loss restricts the sound from reaching the brain.

Let’s also understand the difference between Hearing and Listening.

Hearing is an act of perceiving sound and receiving sound waves through the ear.

Listening is the act of hearing a sound and understanding what one hears after the brain processes the meaning from words and sentences.

As mentioned above, hearing is first provided and then listening develops followed by development of spoken language.

A typical hearing child speaks four to five words at the age of one year. This speech stage comes when the child has already had a hearing age of sixteen months and good listening environment. For children with hearing loss the stages for speech and language development are the same. Their speech will depend upon the appropriate fitting of the technology whether it is hearing aids or cochlear implants, auditory verbal therapy, good listening environment and the most important thing, the active involvement of the family in the process.

A good voice pattern can only be learned through listening. It improves the child’s ability to self-monitor and self-correct and reduces exaggerated and evident mouth movement.

There is some research done which shows how much practice is needed to influence the neural structure for speech and language development. The Hart and Risley study says that by 4 years of age typical hearing children have hear around 46 million words.

According to Pittman, children with hearing loss require 3 times more exposure to learn new words and concepts and yet they do not have 24/7 hearing.

It is imperative for the parents to understand the significance of language rich environment and providing the same to the kids following the Learning and Spoken Language strategies in a day to day routine.

LSL STRATEGIES FOR SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Listed below are some of the Listening and Spoken Language Strategies which parents should use in their conversation with the kids having hearing loss:

MOTHERESE/ PARENTESE: It is the sing song voice pattern like lullabies, generally used with babies. It helps to gain the attention of young toddlers and babies towards auditory signal.

REPETITION

It is an indirect or informal language stimulation technique where a targeted sound, word, phrase or sentence is said more than one time. In the first year of hearing, this strategy is very helpful.

 

AUDITORY BOMBARDMENT

Kids are bombarded with specific target words or sounds time and again for maximum auditory exposure.

 

BREAKING UP

Multi syllabic words can be broken into smaller units thus making it easier for the kids, followed by full word exposure e.g., spaghetti, caterpillar.

 

SCAFFOLDING

Build upon new vocabulary and language on already known language so it becomes easier for the kids to comprehend.

 

WAIT TIME

It is the pause used between an adult’s interaction with a child that allows the child time to process the auditory information and formulate a response.

 

It is a very important strategy and should always be remembered by the parents especially in the initial months when auditory memory is building up.

 

AUDITORY SANDWICH

It is useful in almost all the age groups and especially implemented with kids dependent on speech reading.

 

In this, information is presented through listening before the introduction of visual or other support information is given and then auditory input is repeated again.

Its purpose is to encourage comprehension and communication through the child’s auditory abilities.

ORAL MOTOR EXERCISES

Oral cavity and muscles play an important role in speech acquisition and development which is generally not very well developed in kids with hearing loss.

 

Here are some exercises to help for the same

  • Breathing Exercises
  • Blowing (cotton balls, candles, feathers, bubbles)
  • Sucking (with short, long and twisted straws)
  • Chewing
  • Tongue Rotations (licking chocolates, honey and ice creams smudged around the mouth)

 

GAMES AND ACTIVITIES

 

Early intervention is undoubtedly important but without compromising on the chuckling childhood of our little munchkins. So here are some of the fun filled games through which parents can practise speech therapy:

 

  • Build up blocks and knock them down
  • Drop things in water
  • Put Ice cream sticks in play dough
  • Throw balls in a bin
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Build lego and house pieces
  • Zooming vehicles down a slide
  • Dropping objects through a pipe
  • Putting candles into a playdough cake
  • Banging things with a toy hammer
  • Pegs in pegboard

Most Importantly: Follow the Child’s Lead.

Although after doing everything, dedicating time and energy, putting in efforts in the right direction sometimes the child doesn’t progress as expected, there is no need to panic but be vigilant and patient.

Check the child’s speech in relation with his aided audiogram

Optimal Hearing aid programming / Cochlear Implant mapping

Be patient and encouraging, learning to listen and speak with confidence is inculcated and is a learning process which needs its own sweet time.

If you have any concerns, never hesitate to question the related Professional.

BELIEVE AND MAKE BELIEVE, CHILD WILL LEARN TO LISTEN AND SPEAK.

 

Session Conducted by: Ritu Nakra (LSLS Cert.AVT)

Session Hosted by: Chetana Misra

Session Complied by: LE Nyla Ahamed

 

 

 

 

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LEAP ON AND ENRICH YOUR CHILD’S SPEECH & LANGUAGE THIS CHRISTMAS

  1. To develop Auditory Memory

There are many things that go on a Christmas tree – like bells, stars, gift boxes, balls, streamers, candy sticks etc in variety of colors. Involve your child in decorating the Christmas tree.

ACTIVITY 1

Before showing the materials, first name them and then take them out one by one. Now cover the materials with a piece of cloth and let the child remember and recall the materials seen in 30 sec.

2. To develop concepts of Positions:

ACTIVITY 2

Depending upon the level of the child, you can use language like, “Let’s put the star on top of the tree”, “Let’s put the golden ball on the right side”, “Let’s put the candy stick in-between two golden bells, etc. Similarly you can introduce other positions like:

  1. In front of, beside, behind, etc.

3. To facilitate Imagination:

ACTIVITY 3

Talking to your child about Santa Clause, and imagining what your child wants Santa Clause to bring. Making up a story as per your child’s imagination helps to develop and enrich the Theory of Mind.

 

santa-clause
Talking to your child about Santa Clause, and imagining what your child wants Santa Clause to bring. Making up a story as per your child’s imagination helps to develop and enrich the Theory of Mind.

  1. To follow multiple Instructions:

 

christmas-card

ACTIVITY 4

Making a Christmas card:

There are many fancy nick knack materials available in the market like ribbons, bows, Santa’s face, stars etc. You can make a Christmas Card along with your child by giving multiple instructions like, “Let’s put Santa’s face in the center of the card and a silver star in the right corner “or “Make four gift boxes in each corner of the card and a heart in the center and then color it red”.

 

  1. To listen and tell the rhyming word:

ACTIVITY 5

You can play a game of rhyming words from the materials mentioned above. Like: Star – Car, Ball – Mall; similarly words like Santa, face, bow, bell etc.

 

  1. To understand why we celebrate Christmas:

story-of-baby-jesus

ACTIVITY 6

Reading a story book on Lord Jesus will help the child understand the real meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. Narrate the whole story and later help the child recall it in his /her own way.

 

GOOD WISHES AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

Ritu Nakra

(LSLS Cert.AVT)

For

Hear Me Speak