Eimear McQuillian Eimear McQuillan recently became the latest certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) Auditory Verbal Therapist in the Republic of Ireland after completing AVUK’s foundation course and advanced course.

Eimear, a Teacher of the Deaf based in Dublin, first qualified as a teacher and started working in a specialist school for deaf children. She taught children with a range of hearing loss and also had the experience of learning Irish Sign Language. In 2012, she moved into her present role as a Visiting Teacher of the Deaf. She has been a Teacher of the Deaf for over 17 years now and first heard about Auditory Verbal therapy when she attended a presentation by a visiting Auditory Verbal Therapist in Ireland many years ago. The insight piqued her interest in the specialist approach to supporting deaf children to learn to listen and speak, and Eimear was keen to learn more.

Eimear said “I would consider myself a life-long learner and I have always been interested in expanding and developing my knowledge. When I researched AVUK’s training, I realised that it suited me for many reasons; it was online, the number of participants was small and it was conducted by an experienced Auditory Verbal Therapist.

The course content was extremely relevant and interesting, delving into the language, speech, social and emotional development of young children with a hearing loss, as well as strategies for guiding, supporting and coaching parents and caregivers, to name but a few.

Finally, the course was very practical and hands-on. It was easy to see the relevance of each topic, month by month.”

Eimear started her journey training in the Auditory Verbal approach in 2019 and became a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist, internationally accredited by the Alexander Graham Bell Academy in the USA, in February 2023.

Explaining her favourite parts of the Auditory Verbal therapy training course, Eimear said: “firstly, it is clear that the course creators have focused the content of both AVUK’s foundation and advanced courses to the work of early interventionists. This focus and the scheduling of the course encouraged me to concentrate on the material provided and the assignments as they arose.

Secondly, the encouragement that I think all participants were given to bring our best qualities to the course, while developing further skills and qualities along the way.

Finally, the feedback from my tutor, Susie, throughout the years has been extremely positive and practical. I always appreciated the manner in which she highlighted areas of further study and development, which in turn helped me to grow and develop during the course.”

Talking about what has surprised her about the course, Eimear said; “while I would consider myself a creative person by nature, doing the course during two Covid lockdowns drew on my creativity and demanded that I find ways to provide support to parents and children online. I enjoyed tele-therapy and the specific learning that this exposure entailed. Having a mix of Teachers of the Deaf and Speech and Language Therapists in the group also greatly added to the experience.

Also, once I had committed to the Advanced course, the time flew by and before I knew it I was preparing for the exam and submitting my paperwork for certification!”

Talking about her goals and ambitions for the future, Eimear said: “I look forward to using the knowledge and experience I gained during the last number of years with families of children with hearing loss.”

Find out more about AVUK’s training course.