DEAF CHILDREN’S CHARITY LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE NEW BOOK TO SUPPORT EARLY LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT Award winning charity for deaf children, Auditory Verbal UK, has launched a new book titled “Baby Talk”. The book is designed to develop the language skills of young children through the powerful medium of play. Sharing books between adult and child is a great way of awakening a child’s imagination and developing their language. It is a fun way to engage young children and can give them a good start to early literacy. The book has been developed by listening and spoken language specialists at Auditory Verbal UK and was launched at the Alexander Graham Bell annual conference in Denver, Colorado. The AG Bell Association is the international governing body for listening and spoken language specialists worldwide. Listening and Spoken Language Specialist and co-author of the book, Frances Clark said: “Baby Talk is designed for adults to share with children from as early as three months of age. At this stage babies engage with faces by looking at them and the clear pictures of baby faces enables them to do this. As they progress, they use the book interactively to develop their play skills e.g. by feeding a baby in the book with a spoon or playing peekaboo by covering the baby in the book with a blanket. This stimulates early play. Problems are introduced at the next stage and the child is encouraged to solve them eg. a baby in the book has a dirty face and needs his mouth to be wiped.” World renowned Audiologist and listening and spoken language specialist, Dr Carol Flexer, suggested the inclusion of rhythm, rhyme and repetition to stimulate the auditory cortex, the part of the brain responsible for listening. Each page includes “Learning to Listen sounds” and a short rhyme. The children pictured in the book all have hearing loss, wear technology (hearing aids or cochlear implants) and have attended Auditory Verbal UK to develop their listening and speaking skills. The book can be beneficial for all children and can be used by children with, or without hearing loss. Since 2003, Auditory Verbal UK has been teaching deaf children across the UK to listen and speak. Children who are deaf are still underachieving in early years, with only 28% being recorded as achieving “a good level of development” according to the Department of Education in 2016. The early intervention programme delivered at Auditory Verbal UK is working to address this. Over 80% of the children who graduate from the programme achieve spoken language equivalent to their hearing peers and most attend mainstream schools. A link to purchase “Baby Talk”, priced £5.50 can be found here- http://www.avuk.org/shop/baby-talk ENDS Notes to Editors Please contact Rebecca Crombleholme, Communications and Fundraising Officer, on 020 7394 4353 or email [email protected] Interviews with families and deaf children who attend Auditory Verbal UK, listening and specialist therapists, and Auditory Verbal UK CEO Anita Grover, are available on request. For further evidence of the impact of the listening and spoken language programme at Auditory Verbal UK please watch this video: https://youtu.be/ikn81UuZ8SA Families of deaf children can find out more by visiting www.avuk.org or by calling 01869 325000. About “Baby Talk” Auditory Verbal UK have created a book for adults to share with babies to stimulate their brains for listening, language and literacy. The book can be used by both parents and professionals to help children learn to listen, understand and play through simple pictures, words and role play with real life scenarios. About Auditory Verbal UK Auditory Verbal UK is an award-winning charity founded in 2003 to raise expectations for deaf children and to provide access to auditory verbal therapy in the UK. At Auditory Verbal UK’s centres in Bermondsey and Bicester highly specialist therapists teach deaf children to listen and speak and help them to develop the lifelong communication and social skills they need to participate fully in the hearing world, without the need for lipreading or sign language. Auditory Verbal UK has supported over 1,000 families and has an accredited training programme through which they have increased the number of specialist therapists across the UK. Find out more on our website www.avuk.org and read about some of our graduates at http://www.avuk.org/Pages/Category/case-studies Auditory Verbal UK has received recognition for its innovative and transformational work in recent awards – shortlisted for the Guardian Charity of the Year 2015; winner of the Children and Young People Now Children’s Achievement Award for our Young Ambassador and Highly Commended as Charity of the Year with an income under £1 million in the 2014 Charity Times Awards.