The Lake Drive Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports programs for children who are deaf and hard of hearing, has received a $10,000 grant from Staples Foundation for Learning (SFFL), a private foundation created by Staples, Inc. Funding from SFFL be used to support The Sound Start Program to give infants and toddlers with hearing loss the critical help they need from birth to age three to develop their communication skills during the optimal time for auditory learning.
Sound Start operates under the auspices of The Lake Drive Programs in Mountain Lakes, which offers New Jersey's most comprehensive continuum of educational opportunities for children with hearing loss from birth through high school graduation. The Lake Drive Programs provide services for more than 300 students who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information about The Lake Drive Foundation visit www.lakedrivefoundation.org.
And here's an article about the latest study using a 50 month long longitudinal data that support the effectiveness of auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
In short, AVT works.
The study matched children who were deaf or hard of hearing and using listening and spoken language with a control group of children who had typical hearing. Dornan and her team proceeded to conduct bench mark assessments for receptive, expressive, and total language, receptive vocabulary, and speech, and re-assessed at the 9-, 21-, 38- and 50-month mark. Over the last 12 months of the study, the team also assessed for reading and mathematics skills as well as self-esteem.
Results indicate that at the 50-month mark there were no significant differences between the children who are deaf or hard of hearing and the children with typical hearing. Speech perception improved significantly with moderate to high levels at the 50-month mark. Although the group was identified at a mean age of 22.29 months, much later than the current recommended age of 6 months, their language and speech attainments have been the same as the matched control (hearing) group. Reading, mathematics and self-esteem outcomes were also comparable for both groups over the last 12 months of the study period.
Dornan stated, “This study has provided a research model, utilizing a control group matched for language age, which could also be replicated across different languages, cultures, and countries and with different education approaches.” The researchers concluded that auditory-verbal therapy was effective for this group of children with hearing loss.