The Power of a Name

By Hearing First Team October 6, 2015

"Hearing First" | listening and spoken language, mission, powering potential, Celebrate LSL

As a parent searching for critical information about quality services to teach your child to listen and talk, you should keep these keywords in mind: listening and spoken language, LSL, auditory verbal therapy, auditory verbal practice, auditory oral education, and oral deaf education.

“Have you chosen a name?” Every expecting parent has heard this question repeated among family and friends when they learn a baby is due. If you have children, you’ll likely remember the significance of that decision and the pressure to choose just the right name.

Maybe you chose a name based on its meaning — or a family name that honored someone from generations past. Maybe you avoided a particular name because someone close to you had already used it. As parents, we understand that what we name our child will communicate a lot.

Just as it can be challenging to name a baby, it can also be a challenge to name an organization or a particular intervention approach — for many of the same reasons!

As a parent searching the internet for critical information that will help you make decisions for your child diagnosed with hearing loss, you may find new names and labels — and have questions about what they mean or why they are important for your family’s journey.

Here’s some information that may help you.

First, remember that unlike a baby’s name, labels for organizations or approaches can and do evolve. This is the case with the name assigned to the approach that focuses on teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk. 

If you’ve done any searching on this topic, you may have seen terms like: Listening and Spoken Language, LSL, Auditory-Verbal practice, Auditory oral education, oral deaf education, or AV practice. It can be overwhelming to see so many new terms if you don’t understand what they mean or how they relate to one another.

Listening and Spoken Language, or “LSL,” is the approach that focuses on teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk — and it’s based on the principles of Auditory-Verbal practice. Auditory oral education, oral deaf education, and AV practice are also terms associated with this approach. You can learn more about the LSL approach here.

How did these names come together?

The name, Listening and Spoken Language, evolved when Auditory-Verbal International (AVI) merged with the AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) to form the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language (Academy). One of the Academy’s first activities was to create a specialty certification, Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLSTM), based upon the Auditory-Verbal approach originating from AVI. Today that certification has two designations, Auditory Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert. AVTTM) and Auditory Verbal Educator (LSLS, Cert. AVEdTM). The AG Bell Association has also created the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center to advance LSL for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

What terms should I be looking for?

As a parent searching for critical information about quality services to teach your child to listen and talk, you should keep these keywords in mind: listening and spoken language, LSL, auditory verbal therapy, auditory verbal practice, auditory oral education, and oral deaf education.

Whatever the label, you’ll want to find the most qualified professionals with expertise in the field of hearing loss to guide and coach you — and knowing these keywords can help. The right professional will work in partnership with you and can provide a clear and accurate path to support your goals to teach your child to listen and talk.

So there is power in the name — especially when that name connects you to the partner you’ll need to help your child reach his or her full potential.

"Hearing First" | listening and spoken language, mission, powering potential, Celebrate LSL

About the Author

Hearing First Team At Hearing First, we want all children to benefit from the availability of newborn hearing screening, the advances in technology, and the early learning services in their communities. We want all children to have the opportunity to take advantage of access to sound – a critical building block for future success.