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Speech Language Pathology + Audiology

Auditory Verbal Therapy Service

Exploring possibilities for families with children with hearing loss

Children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can develop extraordinary listening and spoken language skills. At Floating Hospital for Children, we offer a family-centered approach that guides parents in unlocking the potential and possibilities within their child.

Our Cochlear Implant and Hearing Loss Team offers the only hospital-based Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) in Massachusetts. Joy Wilmouth, a speech language pathologist and certified Auditory Verbal Therapist, leads a team that empowers children with hearing loss to listen and talk on par with their hearing peers.

No matter how profound your child's hearing loss, the appropriate amplification device combined with AVT can have a tremendous impact. We work with your family to help you achieve your goals for your child.

Discover how you can help your child

AVT guides caregivers and parents in helping your child develop spoken language through listening, using everyday natural and meaningful communication. In the case that AVT is not the right fit for your child and family, we'll explore other communication approaches that may be more appropriate.

At your first appointment, we discuss with you:

  • Your long-term goals for your child
  • Your vision for your child and your family
  • All of the communication options

We offer AVT primarily for children with hearing loss up to age 6, but follow children of all ages for evaluations, consultation and periodic check-ins. Families often explore AVT at Floating Hospital because:

  • They wonder if it might be possible for their child to learn to listen and talk.
  • They're exploring what options are available for their family and their child.
  • They would like their child to be evaluated by a listening and spoken language specialist.

What you can expect

AVT involves weekly sessions for your family at Floating Hospital. Throughout the course of therapy, we continually evaluate the progress of both child and parent(s), and make adjustments in our approach as necessary.

Children learn to use their cochlear implants or hearing aids to listen to their own voices, the voices of others and the sounds of their environment in order to understand spoken language. Therapy features fun, engaging activities that help sharpen essential skills.

Parents work alongside the therapist and are educated on a variety of practical strategies and techniques they can integrate into the family's daily life.

Collaboration with Floating Hospital Audiologists

Joy Wilmouth, one of the state's few certified Auditory Verbal Therapists, heads our service. She has worked with children with hearing loss at Tufts Medical Center since 2004.

Wilmouth works closely with our audiologists to adjust the cochlear implant or hearing aid to achieve the best possible results for each child. She often collaborates in cochlear implant mapping to ensure the current device is programmed accurately for optimal functional hearing.

Pediatricians, neuropsychologists, otolaryngologists and speech pathologists often refer patients to us for evaluation. We'll forward all test results to you and be available to answer follow-up questions.