Thursday, April 16, 2009
Elizabeth has officially been discharged from Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT). Elizabeth began AVT when she diagnosed with a hearing impairment (Auditory Neuropathy) at 6months old. AVT teaches children how to listen, process verbal language and how to speak. We have always credited AVT for Elizabeth's amazing language and conversation skills. The best part of AVT is that Elizabeth learned through play and exploration. Making volcanoes (as above) was a way to teach Elizabeth to follow a sequence of steps and reiterate what would happen next and now it is also another way Elizabeth can get muck with her beloved dinosaurs. Elizabeth loved AVT, her therapist's were amazing dedicated professionals whose creativity allowed Elizabeth to learn while she was having fun, it was not work for her.
We knew that her being discharged was inevitable as her listening skills are amazing and as per her last assessment she scored 75% in her receptive language and 98% in her expressive vocabulary. The only saddening part of her latest assessment was her articulation as it scored 6%. This 6% saddens me as Elizabeth has so much to say but many people cannot understand her. Elizabeth is now being followed by a Speech Pathologist for a 9 week block to work on her articulation which is great. Of course the downside is due to her age she will be discharged from the preschool service and will probably receive 10 session a year which is pitiful considering her articulation difficulties. We have a great health insurance plan that covers a lot of her needs but it will only cover 2 1/2 sessions of speech a year (not very helpful).
After great discussions with her ENT and Audiologist we have decided to try an FM Unit. With Elizabeth's hearing loss being unique we do not know how it impairs her ability to hear in all situations. We do notice that in noisy environments she does not hear and we have to touch her to get her attention and speak to her face to face. An FM unit can help her to hear a primary speaker in noisy environments (school, gymnastics, family gatherings, car etc). My fear is that her articulation is not only related to her poor oral motor skills and that some of her articulation difficulties are due to the fact that she cannot hear everything. We will continue to have her hearing checked every 4 months to monitor her closely.
We will definitely miss AVT but it is great that she has done so well and has graduated.