Speech Therapy Programs For Children With Hearing Loss
Thanks to universal newborn screening programs and scientific advances made in amplification and cochlear implants, most children with hearing loss are being diagnosed and fitted with hearing technology at an early age, which increases the likelihood of developing listening, speaking, and literacy skills on the same level as children their age without hearing loss.
Active family participation is a crucial part of auditory-verbal therapy (AVT). During each speech therapy session, caregivers learn how to incorporate their child’s listening, language, and speech goals into everyday situations. During each session, the speech therapist demonstrates the strategies and goals for the week and discusses how to achieve specific goals through activities at home with their child.
A study by the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found there were two factors that influenced positive language outcomes at 5 years of age: the age at enrollment and family participation.
Texas Hearing Institute’s own research has found that among children whose parents demonstrated “ideal” or “good” participation in therapy, 89% of those children demonstrated significant progress with speech therapy. Alternatively, only 28% of children demonstrated significant progress in speech therapy when their parents demonstrated “below average” or “limited participation” in the therapy process.
Texas Hearing Institute currently has a number of certified listening and spoken language specialists in auditory-verbal therapy (LSLS Cert. AVT) on staff, with several in the mentoring process leading up to certification. Certified LSLS professionals hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in speech-language pathology, audiology, or deaf education; have completed 3 to 5 years of supervised, mentored practice; and have passed a comprehensive test to obtain the LSLS credential.
For more information about LSL, please call us at (713) 523-3633 or visit the Alexander Graham Bell Association website.
Don’t Leave Me Speechless is a program designed to bridge the gap for children who are experiencing a temporary lapse in insurance coverage. This program is offered at no cost to the families. It ensures speech therapy services remain accessible for all.
For the Houston RiteCare Infant Program and for any listening and spoken language (LSL) therapy, active family participation is very crucial.
You must understand and follow these guidelines for your child to be enrolled in the Houston RiteCare Infant Program:
- Speech therapy sessions are usually once a week with a speech therapist specially trained to work with infants and their families.
- There is a high demand for this program, so attendance is taken very seriously. If a family cancels three sessions without giving at least 24 hours' advance notice, they will be dismissed from the program.
- Near the end of the time period for the free services (usually your child’s 18-month birthday), if you want to continue services, a Texas Hearing Institute representative will visit with you to discuss insurance coverage, and whether sliding fee scale payment options are applicable.
- An optional service provided by the program are the services of a social worker who counsels families about grief and family dynamics as well as facilitates parent support groups.
Language environment analysis (LENA) is a tool that provides valuable information about a child’s daily language environment. The LENA system reports adult words, conversational turns, child vocalizations, and information about the acoustic environment.
LENA incorporates use of a small, wearable device, often referred to as a talk pedometer. It is combined with a cloud-based analysis system to record and analyze the language environment of the child. All children enrolled in services at Texas Hearing Institute are eligible for participation in the LENA program.
For additional information, please visit www.lena.org.
Our Speech Therapy Clinic offers listening and spoken language therapy in Spanish for children who come from Spanish-speaking households.
Children with hearing loss, like their peers with normal hearing, are capable of learning more than one spoken language, so our bilingual therapists lead sessions in both English and Spanish to facilitate overall spoken language development. Research conducted at Texas Hearing Institute, among other places, indicates that English skills are stronger when a child with hearing loss receives intervention in the language spoken in their home.
Known as the HEAR-O Program, this program provides auditory-based speech therapy services to children with hearing loss who have additional disabilities. HEAR-O’s purpose is to maximize listening by coordinating our services with the children’s other healthcare providers.
HEAR-O exists because an estimated 40% of the total population of children with hearing loss have additional disabilities (Murray, 2009). Texas Hearing Institute continuously works toward identifying challenges and improving children’s speech in partnership with other members of their established intervention team.
Texas Hearing Institute has provided virtual speech therapy services since 2009 as a flexible solution for families with barriers that prevent access to receiving in-person services. These barriers may include transportation issues, living far from the Texas Hearing Institute campus, or difficulty scheduling time away from home. Virtual speech therapy uses a HIPAA-compliant virtual platform to conduct sessions that are traditionally held in person.
Through our virtual speech therapy services, also known as the Tele-T.A.L.K. program, children all over the state of Texas and beyond are able to access listening and spoken language services from home.
At this time, private insurance and Medicaid plans cover teletherapy services. We also offer a sliding fee scale for those who qualify. For more information on the sliding fee scale, visit Insurance and Billing.
Equipment families will need include:
- A phone, tablet, or laptop capable of accessing a web browser
- An internet connection
Families who do not have access to the necessary technology can apply to Texas Hearing Institute for help to acquire it.