In AVT we put an emphasis on Listening First.
That’s not just an adage that we use because we are doing “Auditory Verbal Therapy”. We actually encourage the child to LISTEN to the sound of the word before we show the item, toy, or activity.
Listening is a brain activity. It has very little to do with the ear itself. Once the brain hears sound via the auditory nerve, it sends a message to the language centers in your brain. This is where we make sense of it all.
The auditory cortex is like a piece of realestate that everyone wants. It belongs to the auditory cortex as long as the auditory cortex can keep paying the rent….as long as it can keep innervating that portion of the brain and keep it active by exposure to sound
If we are not keeping this part of the brain active, other senses can move in. Most commonly, the visual cortex. Once the visual influence has set up camp in the old auditory cortex’s spot, it is very very difficult to change this arrangement.
We are on a journey to build listening brains! This means that we must work on defending the space of the auditory cortex. Defend it by providing the best and most clear auditory signal that we can afford. Defend it by providing a rich and nourishing language environment. Defend it by providing consistency around what the brain hears.
So everytime you cue your child to listen first - you are helping to build her auditory cortex.
Everytime you read to your child and then show the picture - you are helping to build his auditory cortex.
Everytime you introduce a new word by building on what your child already knows - you are helping to build her auditory cortex.
Everytime you advocate for precise programming of his/her hearing device - you are helping to build his auditory cortex.
Bit by bit our brains get stronger and more robust.