The "arctic blast" that forecasters were predicting swept in today, bringing 20-degree weather to welcome 2012, so winter is officially here in North Carolina! What better time to "warm" the occasion and start the new year than to take a moment to express my gratitude to you our students, our faculty, our readers. Being part of such an amazing community of dedicated and talented individuals continually inspires me to work harder, learn more, and be all that I can be to support children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. Thank you!
In this winter edition of fyi, we offer some special congratulations, introduce a new faculty member, and continue our series on "paying it forward," describing a teletherapy program piloted by a FIRST YEARS graduate. As usual, we include some "best ideas" from our students and we end with another document from our reference library.
Enjoy the newsletter and Happy 2012 to all!
Now Accepting Applications
Prospective students can find more information on our website http://firstyears.org
Beth Walker, 2011 Recipient of the Daniel Ling Award
for Outstanding Service!
Prior to moving to Alabama, where she now resides, Beth was the Director of the Pre-school Program for the Auditory Learning Center in Raleigh, NC, where she supervised and mentored teachers of the deaf across the state. Over the 30+ years of professional practice in North Carolina and Alabama, she used a variety of approaches including Auditory-Verbal, Oral, Cued Speech, and Total Communication in public school and private settings.
Asked how her views regarding the value of auditory learning have evolved, Beth recalled (not fondly!) an IEP she wrote as a first year teacher. That student had some residual hearing, and her mother had even expressed a wish for her child to learn to use it. But to Beth's mind, because the child's hearing was the weaker sense, she could "obviously" learn much faster through vision. Beth was confident, writing "Since [the child] has a hearing loss and cannot learn to read using a phonetic approach, a visual approach to reading will be utilized." And she did just that. But ... "After a year and a half plowing through with my grand ideas, the results I achieved with my deaf students with normal intelligence were far below their cognitive peers." (Walker/FY, 2011)
Beth returned to school and took a hard look at realities, aiming to "make decisions based on the facts rather than on my emotional commitment to a particular educational approach. I was exposed to children who were severe-profoundly deaf but were functioning like hard of hearing children. I saw many children functioning at the level of their cognitive potential. I came to understand that I could learn a few things from the parents of my students! I began to understand that almost all deaf children have some residual hearing and that they could learn to use that hearing and actually like using it." (Walker/FY, 2011)
Such was the journey to the listening and spoken language approach she now teaches. Along the way, Beth developed the Auditory Learning Guide, now used nationally and internationally, chaired the Professional Education Committee of Auditory-VerbaI International (AVI), Inc., served as a Board Member of AVI, and was in the very first group to sit the LSLS Cert. AVT exam in 1994. Now in private practice, she continues to serve children with hearing loss and their families as well as train other professionals in the U.S. and abroad.
Walker, B. quoted in: FIRST YEARS/FY. (2011). Listening & Spoken Language Development & Intervention. "Unit 1. Foundations: Speech, Language and Auditory Development." Then and Now - Personal perspectives. (Authors: Karen Rossi & Kathryn Wilson)
|Congratulations Jeanette Hoover (class
Jeanette Hoover, who enrolled with the class of 2012, added her own twist to "Better late than never, " finishing "Better early!" in 2011 instead. Jeanette took a year educational sabbatical leave for professional development: "My request for leave of absence was for one full academic year in which I was required to complete (18) graduate-level credit hours. I obtained 12 of the 18 credits through FIRST YEARS" (11/23/11). The leave allowed her to double up, taking the literacy course and audiology course, both taught in the spring, at the same time. In addition to FIRST YEARS courses, Ellen Thomas, co-instructor for our survey course, invited Jeanette to the University of Michigan Cochlear Implant Program, for a two-week, post-graduate level independent study. This included direct participation in the University of Michigan clinic with cochlear implant audiologists and speech-language pathologists/ Auditory-Verbal therapists. Jeanette had the opportunity to work with all three cochlear implant manufacturers and their products, participating in programming, evaluation, and treatment sessions at the clinic.
Jeanette plans use her credit hours to sit for LSLS certification, "while the info is nice and fresh in my head" (11/23/11), as soon as she completes the LSL supervised-hours requirement. Congratulations, Jeanette!
Jeanette Hoover, M.S. CCC-SLP (firstname.lastname@example.org)And congratulations to Holly Teagle!
Holly Teagle, our co-facilitator for the course on Audiology Interpretation and Hearing Technologies, was promoted to Associate Professor, UNC Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, December, 2011. Congratulations, Holly!
Joining the FIRST YEARS Faculty
Dr. Wray is currently director of the early intervention Auditory-Verbal Clinic at the University of Akron's Audiology and Speech Center. She is completing a four-year grant issued to The University of Akron in June 2007 that trains SLP graduate students from The University of Akron and Kent State University to develop a specialty in teaching children with hearing loss to maximize the use of their technology. She was awarded Honors from the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2006. Welcome, Dr. Wray!
Paying it forward: Teletherapy
In our summer, 2011, issue we began a new feature in our newsletter "Paying it forward" to highlight what our students are doing as agents of change, not only in their own local settings, but on state, national, and international levels as well.
Recently, Michelle Parfitt (class of 2007), emailed to tell us she was helping to pilot a teletherapy program. The topic had just come up in discussion in a course, so we asked her to send us her "first impressions" to pass on to the students (11/3/11):
As far as quick info, we are trying teletherapy with a few of our long-distance families. So far in our pilot we have learned several things:
Here at DePaul in Pittsburgh, PA, we frequently have families that come from more rural areas of the state and are unable to find local therapists/teachers who have knowledge in the area of listening and spoken language development. Some of the families travel 3 hours to receive our services. So naturally, the thought of teletherapy was very appealing to us and the families we serve. We had been talking about it and researching it for more than a year.We asked if the pilot family mother, Michelle Bole, might add her impressions via email (12/9/11):
My daughter Kara is doing teletherapy with Michelle Parfitt. Kara attended DePaul School for 4 years and mainstreamed in 2010. She has done well, but I have had some concerns. I had been in contact with Michelle and she had mentioned about their starting the teletherapy sessions. I was thrilled to be a part of this process. This has given me another option to help my daughter at home and not have to travel. It is nice to be able to talk face to face, and to have Michelle listen to Kara's speech and language. Michelle is able to give us things to work on to help her with her weakness. I believe this will help her in areas that need strengthening. This is also nice because it gives DePaul a way to track kids that have mainstreamed and follow their progress.Thank you, Michelle, for "paying it forward."
Michelle Parfitt, MA, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd (email@example.com)From FIRST YEARS Reference Library ...
In our course on Listening & Spoken Language Development & Intervention, co-instructor Sherri Vernelson (M.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVEd.) encourages students to consider what it takes to create a "communicative environment." She writes: "In my early years of teaching, I was told that we should talk A LOT to our children with hearing loss. Talk, talk, talk. So I talked and talked, and I instructed the parents to talk and talk. Then I noticed that the children were not talking back as expected! My mentor helped me realize that it was not just the quantity of what we were saying that mattered. It was the quality - the meaningful experiences attached to the quantity - that mattered as well. I learned a valuable lesson: We can actually teach a child not to listen by talking incessantly." (FY, 2011)
Children need appropriate wait time, i.e. silence, to tune into (and not tune out) what is said and to process it.
Commenting on the need to balance quantity with quality, Tracy Vale (class of 2012) wrote (10/2/11): "I think parents have such a hard time with this. On one level, they seem to just talk, talk, talk AT the child to fill in the silence. On another level, I think they are nervous when they feel they are being watched or scrutinized. Finally, I wonder if they just fear the silence. Do they fear their child is failing if he doesn't fill-in the pauses like another child might and so they take-on the entire conversation?????"
Sherri jumped in with a response (11/3/11): "... 'I wonder if they just fear the silence'.......heck, I fear the silence! Those quiet times are so hard but soooooo important."
Pam Talbot (M.Ed., CCC-SLP, C.E.D., LSL Cert. AVT), one of the many professionals who contribute to FIRST YEARS, has provided the next document which emphasizes how over-talking leads to a "distorted view of conversation."
Talbot, P. (2002). Too Much Is Not a Good Thing
|The best ideas
come from our students.
Our students continue to discover more and more "apps" - sound meters, iPhone and iPod Apps for Special Education - and now a Talking Tom Cat! Maria Sidiropoulou-Leontis (class of 2013) reports (11/15/11): "I don't know if my classmates and/or teachers are familiar with Talking Tom Cat, but I must admit I was green with envy when my colleague Suzzane showed me this today. It's a kitty who looks at you from the ipad screen and repeats everything you say. When you stop talking it puts its paw in its ear and I could have sworn this was made for my students! Needless to say I know what my Christmas present is going to be ..."
That kitty follows a strategy that promotes learning through listening! Namely, pointing to his ear as if to say "I hear that!' or "Listen!"
See Talking Tom at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talking-tom-cat/id377194688?mt=8
Names in the News
Now it's your turn!
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