Auditory verbal therapy is a “parent training programme” with one of the principles being to guide and coach parents to become the primary facilitators of their child’s listening and spoken language development.


As such, parents’ participation is integral to the auditory verbal journey. For most, the journey is never a straight A-B, there are inevitably delays, changes of course, bumps in the road and “when are we going to get there?” questions. Whilst the therapist is there to help the journey progress to the destination, the place of “meeting maximum potential”; what the parents often need is a fellow passenger. Someone to share the journey, the frustrations and the joys. Like the man in the car next to you who rolls down his window to let you know the M40 is closed, the lady on your commute who shares your anger (and a few expletives) over another tube strike or the passenger on the plane who moves to let you see the sunset out of the window. The result is a connection, someone who shares the experience, may give you a hand with your luggage, gently show you the way or ask you for some help with theirs.

In the modern world, connections are made not only by face to face contact but also through social media. The odd tweet or Facebook update can lead to many answers, comments and support.

This year, Auditory VerbalUK began a parent group “pilot”.  As one parent said

I feel it would be very useful to create a group for us parents with deaf children who have experienced AVT. There isn’t one yet, so why not to make one and make it as successful as the therapy itself! We could share our experiences, make play dates for our children, practice AVT techniques since we are all in the same boat! And much, much more….

The aim is to facilitate a group of parents who meet regularly and also connect via Facebook to be fellow passengers. The initial sessions have been initiated by AVUK staff but the aim is for this to become something parents arrange for themselves. So far two group sessions have been held at Parker Tower in London, allowing families to meet and make connections. As a result, the families have shared details and are in the process of arranging a summer picnic.

Whilst we have only just set off, parents have responded very positively. The only negative remarks being that the group doesn’t happen often enough.

The AVUK Parent Group Facebook page has been up and running for a week and has 16 members. Parents have shared questions about things like Cochlear Implant surgery. Answers have been almost immediate, containing useful information and messages of support. More importantly they have linked parents from Bicester to Northern Ireland – a painless journey in this case!

Frances, auditory verbal therapist