October 20, 2016.
By: Shefali Shah
A question I frequently get asked by families new to the service at Sound Steps is “So, what exactly are we going to do in our first therapy session?” My answer invariably is “We will begin to train your baby or child to listen and understand. We will do this together through playing, singing, reading and talking because that’s what young children enjoy most.” Here's how:
At Sound Steps, the first therapy session is scheduled once the child has been appropriately fitted with hearing aids. Parent Guidance sessions may be scheduled before this fitting. There are three things I always look to accomplish in my first Auditory Verbal Therapy session with children and their families at Sound Steps. These are:
1. To have fun with your child:
These early days are packed with appointments and digesting a lot of new information. The excitement of being with your baby or young child often gets lost in the hurly-burly of these busy days. I think it is critical that I create a space for you to enjoy spending time with your child during this time that we spend together. I am always reassured by how readily most of you slip into enjoying this time together, once you are guided to it.
2. To guide you to identify what your child detected or understood:
I believe that every parent I have ever worked with is looking for “evidence” that their baby or young child is actually hearing. My guidance in this first session is focussed on helping you identify atleast one thing (sound or spoken language) that you observed your child detected by listening alone during the session. That is a powerful moment and one which never fails to impress me as I am reminded of your unfailing insight.
3. To experience the joy of having your child understand what you said.
The joy of being with children is infectious. Your child is no exception. As we play, talk, sing and read together your child’s engages in whatever is at hand and in doing so demonstrates that she is listening. The situation explains itself and powerd by your voice talking to her, your child spontaneously associates meaning to what she is doing! YOU facilitated her learning.
Listening is fun! You’ve gifted your child so many enjoyable learning moments in that first therapy session.