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Suffolk Center for Speech


Hearing Loss and Services Provided by SLPs

Children with a hearing impairment, especially at a young age can have difficulties acquiring speech and language skills. Hearing loss can range in severity from mild, moderate, severe, to profound. Additionally, it is important to note that a hearing loss can occur at any point during the lifespan. Early identification of a hearing impairment is critical in order for intervention to take place. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can team up with an audiologist to provide the necessary support for a child with a hearing loss. Hearing aids are amplification devices used to increase the loudness of a sound stimulus.

Now, how can SLPs provide therapy/services to this population? There are different approaches your speech therapist might take depending on the child’s strengths and the family’s preferences for communication. The Auditory-Verbal Approach focuses on enhancing the child’s listening skills to communicate. This approach focuses on the child processing the auditory (sound) signal coming from spoken language to communicate clearly. Another approach is known as the Audiotry-Oral or Auditory-Based Speech Therapy Approach. This approach is geared toward increasing the child’s listening skills while also using lip reading to acquire spoken language. Lip reading is looking at the speaker’s lips which provides a visual cue to support the understanding of what the speaker is saying. The third approach is known as the Total Communication Approach which involves using pictures, signs, spoken language, and speech-generating devices/augmentative and alternative modes of communication to provide multiple avenues for communication. The common theme amongst all these approaches is fostering communication skills!

Speech Services for Hearing Loss. Nationwide Children’s Hospital. (n.d.).

World Health Organization. (2024, February 2). Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization.

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