Understanding AVT: What is Auditory Verbal Therapy? . In the first of AVUK's new series, Understanding AVT, Auditory Verbal therapist, Frances Clarke, explains just what Auditory Verbal therapy (AVT) is and how it differs from other types of speech and language therapies. What is Auditory Verbal Therapy? Clinical Lead, Frances Clark. . AVT is a family centred specialist programme which supports deaf children and babies to learn to listen and talk. Auditory Verbal (AV) therapy differs from speech therapy because it prioritises listening as a basis to both understanding and developing spoken communication. Some speech therapy for deaf children includes signing, gesture, pictures or lip-reading whereas Auditory Verbal therapy focuses on developing listening in order to learn spoken language. . . The Auditory Verbal therapists (AVTs) at Auditory Verbal UK were all qualified Teachers of the Deaf, Speech and Language Therapists and/or Audiologists before they qualified as Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapists (LSLS Cert AVT®). Signing, gestures, pictures and lip-reading are not discouraged in Auditory Verbal Therapy, but parents are coached to give their children the opportunity to listen first in order to develop the neural pathways that underpin listening. In so doing, they stimulate the auditory cortex, one part of the brain responsible for listening. For this to be effective, optimal technology such as hearing aids or cochlear implants is required. It is the role of the AVT to work with parents to ensure that their child has the appropriate technology in order to access the full range of sounds required to learn speech. The formation of neural networks in the auditory cortex depend on an individual’s experience of sound and optimal development requires stimulation in the early years. . . AV therapy works because it prioritises excellent hearing technology together with excellent parent coaching. It is a parent training programme in which the parents are coached on how to integrate listening, thinking and talking strategies into their child’s everyday life. AV therapy follows typical development and is diagnostic, meaning that the therapy aims for the child to be matching their peers in terms of language development and that this will constantly be used as a benchmark. Parents learn skills which enable their children to become listeners and fluent talkers. It aims to ensure that deafness is not a barrier and that children with hearing loss can have the same opportunities as their typically hearing peers. To find out more about Auditory Verbal therapy you can click here You can also learn more about Auditory Verbal therapy by watching this video where AVUK Auditory Verbal therapist, Estelle Gerrett, answers the question: . 'What is an Auditory Verbal Therapist?' .