Question: I am interested in the auditory-verbal approach for my child. It teaches a child to listen in a different way than a normal hearing child and to comprehend what is being said. Some examples had “deaf” kids (had their aids) behind a door and they could understand what was being said by the person on the other side.—B.C.
Answer: This is one way of doing it, but it is much harder on the child—much more tiring and stressful. It’s like dressing yourself with one hand behind your back—it may be possible but it is so frustrating. Why ever would you want to do that?
When we have a sensorineural hearing loss, our hearing is not only softer, but fuzzier—so just listening—no matter how hard we do it—cannever make it crystal clear. And this is something that hearing providers don’t seem to get through their heads. That is why we use all the ways we can to get the message—and it is hard enough as it is without limiting that to our ears alone. I would never want to be denied speechreading. My eyes are as much a part of my “hearing” as my ears and hearing aids are.
When a person asks me, “did you hear me?” often I honestly don’t know. My brain uses what my eyes see (speechreading) and what my ears hear and put the two together to get the message. If I want to find out how much understanding speechreading accounts for, I just shut my eyes—and then it becomes obvious—I miss so much more then.