AV therapy supports deaf children to learn how to make sense of the sound they receive through their hearing technology (such as hearing aids or cochlear implants) and develop spoken language so they can learn to talk like their hearing friends. It is a highly specialised, early intervention, family-centred, coaching programme which equips parents and caregivers with the tools to support the development of their deaf child’s speech and spoken language through listening.

Our most recent study shows that 80% of children who attended our programme for at least two years achieve age-appropriate language, and 97% of children without additional needs who attended our programme for at least two years achieve age-appropriate language. 1 in 2 children with additional and often complex needs reached age-appropriate language after attending the programme for at least two years, and all children with additional needs double their rate of language on the programme.

Most children attend mainstream school and our 2022 report, Stepping Stones to Literacy, shows that deaf children on our specialist early intervention programme are attaining educational outcomes on a par with hearing children.

The best communication outcomes for deaf children - whether spoken language, sign or both - are associated with early diagnosis and early enrolment in effective Early Intervention programmes. Without early and effective intervention, deaf children are at greater risk of leaving primary school without developing the expected standard of reading, writing, and mathematics, compared to their hearing peers.

You can read more about the evidence base for AV therapy here.