Aural Habilitation for Children

What is aural habilitation?

Aural habilitation is essentially the teaching and training of auditory perception. These therapeutic services are provided to children who are born with hearing loss or acquired a hearing loss at a young age and also have hearing amplification (i.e., hearing aid or cochlear implant). Often with children, aural rehabilitation services would more appropriately be called habilitative rather than rehabilitative. Rehabilitation focuses on restoring a skill that is lost. For children, the skill may not be there in the first place, so it has to be taught—hence, the services are habilitative, not rehabilitative. The 3 key focuses of aural habilitation are listening, articulation, and spoken language.

What influences auditory development?

  1. Age of child and the age at which the child acquired a hearing loss
  2. Etiology of hearing loss
  3. Duration of hearing loss or deafness
  4. Type of hearing amplification
  5. Cognitive ability and learning style of the child
  6. Skills of therapists and parents
  7. Support given by parents
  8. Availability of support services

How can speech-language pathologists help?

During aural habilitation, speech-language pathologists will provide the following services: training in auditory perception, use of visual cues, improve speech, develop language, and manage communication and hearing aid devices.

-Lauren Smith, M.S., CCC-SLP

References

Child Aural/Audiologic Rehabilitation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2020, fromhttps://www.asha.org/public/hearing/treatment/child_aur_rehab.htm

BobsinMSP, CCC-SLP, Cert. AVT, L. L. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.infantva.org/documents/conf-BeginningattheBeginning.pdf

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