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					     Speech Therapy for the Hearing Impaired
Hearing is conversely associated with speech in that initial communication and
hence understanding, arises primarily from learning spoken language through
listening and building up symbolic thinking processes. This is why speech therapy
is a must for people with hearing impairment.

Developing Auditory Awareness

Auditory awareness is the ability to be conscious of the fact that sound is present.
During this period, the child is to learn to wear appropriate amplification.
Therapy involves playing with toys that make sounds and listening to music.

Developing Auditory Attention or Listening

Auditory attention is the ability to give some real notice or interest to the sound
that is heard.

The clinician focuses the child’s attention to the sound by saying two or three
times: “Listen, I hear something. What is that?” The clinician pats his ears, but
does not show the source of the sound until the child is listening. The clinician
rewards the child’s attention by showing the source of the sound.

Developing Auditory Localization and Distance Hearing

Auditory localization is the ability to recognize the direction from which the
sound is coming from. Distance hearing, on the other hand, is the ability to hear
the sound even from afar.

The therapist shows the child how to respond whenever he hears a sound. Some
of the activities are opening the door when someone knocks, dancing to music,
clapping to music, building blocks when a sound is heard, marching to a drum
and picking the phone up when it rings.

Developing Vocal Play

Vocal play is the ability to use the speech structures to produce various sounds
that are not necessarily meaningful but are sound productions nonetheless. This
stage requires making lots of sounds when playing with toys, especially animal
and vehicle noises: growl for the teddy bear, meow for the cat, or click tongue for
the horse.

Developing Auditory Discrimination

Auditory discrimination is the ability to identify one sound from another.
Activities include reviewing vowel sounds and varying pitch, loudness and
rhythm: oo--- vs. oo-oo. For example, the therapist can build a train with blocks
and say oo-oo or oo---, as the train is being pushed on the table. For older infants,
they can look at books, making similar sounds for the pictures.

Developing Auditory Discrimination and Short-Term Memory
Activities include teaching discrimination of noise makers in audition and
incorporation of phonemes into words in use.

Developing Auditory Processing

Auditory processing is the ability to associate sounds with memories of past
events. Activities include naming of abstract ideas like sadness and joy. The
therapist also starts to teach the child to call the names of the people that he has
constant contact with.

Developing Auditory Processing of Patterns and Auditory Memory Span

Activities for the child’s audition include testing the child’s recognition of words
and testing of auditory memory span. Auditory memory span is the ability of the
child to remember in sequence the things that he has heard. An example would be
the sequence of the instructions that the therapist gave to him.

Developing Auditory Figure-Ground Discrimination

Auditory figure-ground discrimination is the ability to choose among the sounds
that are present in the environment and to focus on that one sound alone without
being distracted by the rest of the surrounding sounds.

Activities for the child’s auditory skills include clapping or dancing to different
rhythms, learning to count from one to ten, saying the alphabets, days of the
week, nursery rhymes, holiday songs, prayers, his own address or telephone
number, and also remembering two or three directions at a time.

Auditory Tracking

Auditory tracking is the act of listening closely to a material to be able to follow
what is being stated in the said material. Auditory tracking using a tape recorder
is included in the activities. Also included are reading aloud, practicing using the
telephone, listening for information and using internal repetition.

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