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50 FAQs about AVT/50 Frequently Asked Questions about Auditory-Verbal Therapy

50 FAQs about AVT/50 Frequently Asked Questions about Auditory-Verbal Therapy

RATING: (3 of 5 ears)
EDITOR: Warren Estabrooks
PUBLISHER: Learning to Listen Foundation
ISBN: 0-9688979-0-8
COST: $32.00

REVIEWER: Jane B. Seaton, MS, Seaton Consultants, Athens, Georgia

SYNOPSIS: This short book was written to aid both professionals and parents in their understanding of many aspects of Auditory-Verbal Therapy and the Auditory-Verbal Approach. The editor, an acknowledged expert in AVT, compiled a list of 50 questions and invited a variety of Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists to submit their responses for inclusion. The result is a 196-page easy-to-read publication containing information and professional opinions on Auditory-Verbal Therapy from those who practice and strongly support this therapeutic approach for individuals with all levels of hearing impairment.

REVIEW: As children with hearing impairment are being identified and fit with improved technology at much younger ages, the demand for information on ways to maximize the use of hearing technology has increased. This book was designed to answer the most frequently asked questions about one such approach—Auditory-Verbal Therapy. The editor, who also serves as a contributing author for several responses, compiled the questions and responses from 38 Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists from around the world. Each question is followed by a two-four page response, and the editor states that he "arbitrarily organized the questions and responses" into six categories or sections.

The first section, "Auditory-Verbal Therapy and the Auditory-Verbal Approach," contains questions 1 through 14 and is the longest section. Included are a general description of the approach, basic principles of AVT, the history of Auditory-Verbal Therapy, and several questions dealing with how this approach differs from other therapeutic techniques used with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Requirements and procedures for becoming a certified auditory-verbal therapist are also described in this section.

Section two, "Partnerships in Auditory-Verbal Therapy," contains 10 questions and responses that address parent involvement, the duration of treatment, and the rationale for the design of weekly therapy sessions. The third section, "Auditory-Verbal Therapy in Action," contains a group of seven questions with responses that describe specific techniques and the typical structure and content of an AVT session.

Section four, "Auditory-Verbal Therapy and Cochlear Implants," contains five questions dealing with use of AVT before, during, and after individuals receive this technology. This is the only section with a question concerning use of AVT with an adult. Section five, "Curricula, Tests, Assessments, and Results," includes six questions and responses on the underlying auditory-verbal model, diagnostic instruments, and outcomes measurement recommended for use with AVT. Included here is a nice synopsis of auditory skill development written by the editor.

The final section, "Auditory-Verbal Therapy and School," contains responses to questions 43 through 50 that describe use of the auditory-verbal approach with school-age children, both inside and outside of the educational environment. Questions addressing use of FM, as well as the relationship of literacy and AVT, are also included here. The book concludes with a list of contributors and a general bibliography for Auditory-Verbal Therapy that would be a good starting point for those wanting more in-depth information on this approach.

CRITIQUE: The primary strength of this book is its description of Auditory-Verbal Therapy in a unique, easy-to read fashion. If you have a question about this approach, you can probably find an answer here. Responses from a variety of practitioners suggest that there may be slight differences in the way AVT is actually implemented, but each contributor provides a response based on the principles outlined in the first section. The editing of the responses leads to consistency in the way that material is presented, but there is also some redundancy throughout the book. The section on curricula, tests, and assessment provides a nice compilation of auditory skill development and formal assessment instruments that could be useful for pediatric audiologists who have not collected this information on their own.
If there is a weakness, it is in several authors' broad generalizations about other approaches (e.g., auditory training, speech-language pathology) as they attempt to contrast other techniques with auditory-verbal therapy. The information on AVT is accurate, however, and this publication would be a useful, inexpensive addition to the libraries of audiologists and other professionals who serve children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and their families.