Auditory Verbal Therapy: Guide

Abigail Hitchins and Anita Grover | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

The Auditory Brain

The ear is the ‘doorway to the brain’ for sound (Cole & Flexer, 2016)14.  Hearing loss obstructs the ‘doorway’ in various ways and to varying degrees, preventing auditory input from reaching the brain.  The purpose of hearing technology is to get auditory information through the ‘doorway’ to the brain (Flexer & Rhoades, 2016)15.

Dr Carol Flexer discusses Auditory Brain Development.

Rapid infant brain growth requires prompt intervention as neuroplasticity is greatest during the first three and a half years of life (Sharma, 201316; Sharma, Nash & Dorman, 200917).  In fact, research shows that by the age of three and a half, the human brain has completed 85% of its physical growth, meaning the first three years of life are critical for developing spoken language through listening (Suskind, Suskind & Lewinter-Suskind, 201518; Sharma & Glick, 201619).

Early amplification or cochlear implantation stimulates a brain that is in the initial process of organising itself and is therefore more receptive to auditory information, resulting in greater auditory capacities (Sharma, Nash & Dorman, 2009)17.  Therefore, identification of newborn hearing loss and other hearing differences, such as ANSD should be considered a neurodevelopmental emergency (Flexer & Rhoades, 2016)15.