LSL In Daily Life
Every day is a learning day for your baby. In fact, you are their first and most important teacher. Your baby can learn and grow from you using LSL strategies in your everyday routines and activities while wearing their hearing devices during all waking hours.
EVERYDAY ROUTINES ARE A TEACHING MOMENT
There’s an enormous amount of learning that can happen for your baby when they engage with you in everyday routines. Some are daily living routines, such as feeding, dressing, and diaper changing, that have to happen every day – no matter what the day is like. Then there are play routines you can do with your baby, such as pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo, and social routines, like going to special events, outings, or celebrations. You may think of these as ordinary moments but they are also rich opportunities to support your child’s learning and development.
Routines provide consistency and repetition to help your baby or toddler:
- Feel comfort and safety because events are predictable
- Anticipate what will happen next to help them learn positive behaviors
- Cope with transitions, such as clean up time, to learn self-control and help reduce power struggles
- Learn social skills, such as greetings, and how to take turns in a conversation
- Learn new vocabulary words and spoken language skills so they become excellent communicators and healthy readers
Establishing consistent routines for your baby offers the chance to engage in serve and return interactions and to build their self-confidence, curiosity, social skills, self-control, communication skills, and more. There are a lot of learning opportunities in your daily, play, and social routines because they are repetitive and natural, yet structured for you and your baby to enjoy together. In LSL intervention, you’ll be guided and coached to use specific LSL strategies and techniques during these everyday routines so that you can have fun maximizing your baby’s listening and spoken language development throughout the day.
Did you know it’s really good for your baby to experience listening and learning in other places? Download our handout LSL Day by Day: Going New Places.
LEARNING TO LISTEN AND TALK THE LSL WAY
During LSL intervention sessions, your interventionist will guide and coach you and other family members to use LSL strategies and techniques throughout your day. They will also guide you in interactive play with your baby. It’s through these play activities together that you’ll discover LSL teaching strategies and techniques that are best for your baby.
During every session, you and your LSL interventionist will discover and learn more about your baby’s development. Your baby will learn new things rapidly so you and the LSL interventionist will continually raise your expectations to encourage their development. Your baby should enjoy their LSL sessions because it’s great fun for them to learn through playing and interacting with you.
You and your LSL interventionist will follow developmental milestones during your sessions. A milestone is a skill a child usually learns at a certain age and in a specific order. For example, a child first learns to crawl and stand up before they learn to walk. In LSL intervention, milestones in all areas of child development – audition, speech, language, cognition/play, motor, and social-emotional – are used to help plan your child’s intervention goals and activities so that they learn skills at the right times and in the right order to build one upon the other. The expectation is that your baby with hearing loss will reach the same developmental milestones in all areas of development just like children with normal hearing.
Using developmental milestones to guide the way helps you and the LSL interventionist choose play activities that your child will be most interested in for their stage of development and for you to learn appropriate behavior expectations for a child of their chronological age.
LEARNING TO LISTEN TO SOUNDS
Developmental milestones will provide you and your LSL interventionist a sequence to follow to teach your baby to listen and talk. All babies, with and without hearing loss, begin talking by producing vowels. Think about it: A baby picks up a train and learns to say “choo choo” before they say the word “train.”
In LSL intervention, Learning to Listen Sounds (LTL) are introduced as a developmentally appropriate and fun way to teach your baby to listen and talk. LTL sounds are early developing vowels and consonant sounds that a baby first makes, such as ah, ee, oo, m, and b. It just so happens that these beginning vowel sounds also have specific acoustic properties, which makes them easily heard by most children with hearing loss when wearing their hearing devices. Other LTL sounds are consonants that will help you and your LSL interventionist know your baby is hearing all the sounds of speech across the speech frequencies.
Each LTL sound is matched to a specific toy or object. Using the LSL strategy of Audition First, you’ll be guided to say the vowel or consonant sound before you show the toy to your baby. Your LSL early interventionist will guide and coach you to introduce age-appropriate play routines with the LTL sound toy. First, your baby will develop the ability to detect when the sound is present. Then, they’ll begin to imitate the sound, produce the sound spontaneously, and later begin to use the word.
Here’s an example of how a typical Learning to Listen Sounds experience can go:
- Start by hiding the LTL object, such as in a small box, behind your back, or in your hand. Use the Audition First strategy by saying the LTL sound before you show your baby the object, which is a toy frog in this example.
- Say, “Listen,” and point to your ear, pause, and wait. Then name the object or toy by saying, “I hear a frog!”
- Then say the LTL sound (“Hop, hop, hop”) and pause and wait. Observe your baby. Do they point to their ear? Do they bounce three times? Do they attempt to imitate the sound?
- Say the name again, “I hear a frog.”
- Show your child the object as you say the sound again, “Hop, hop, hop.”
- Introduce a play routine, such as a biting game, with the frog. The frog can “hop, hop, hop” to bite mommy’s finger. Mom can say, “Ouch! No, no, no biting frog!” Then baby can give kisses to mommy’s finger. The routine can be repeated with others taking a turn. You could even make up a song to sing.
Your baby will have fun hearing the sounds, engaging in play routines with the toys, imitating your steps in play, following familiar phrases, imitating the sounds, and singing songs.
Before developing the ability to say words, a baby first develops the ability to understand what is being said. Since LSL intervention is a developmental approach, your LSL interventionist will guide you to begin using short, simple, familiar phrases during your daily, play, and social routines. Using familiar phrases, such as “wave bye-bye,” and the Audition First LSL strategy, provides your baby the opportunity to develop their understanding of spoken language through listening. It also provides you and your LSL interventionist opportunity to observe your baby’s progress as they develop their understanding of spoken language through listening.
The Learning to Listen (LTL) sounds and associated objects or actions are hallmarks of teaching spoken language through listening. Download our handout about LTL Sounds so you can grow your child’s brain for listening and spoken language.
Top Ten LSL Ways To Build Your Child's Language
- Talk to your child, then pause and wait for a response.
- Talk about what your child is doing and what you’re doing.
- Read aloud to your child every day: encourage them to talk about the story and the pictures.
- Keep conversations going by asking questions and commenting on your child’s response.
- Sing songs and learn finger plays, action verses, and rhymes together.
- Use new and interesting words daily, and give your child time to learn those new words.
- Share in pretend-play activities acting out daily and play routines.
- Foster thinking skills with statements like “I think ...” and open questions like “What do you think …” or “I wonder what will happen …”
- Encourage your child to greet and get to know other children and adults.
- Take your child with you to new places, such as the grocery store, library, car wash, and gas station.