Words Your Child Should Know: Animals (P to Z) in ASL

Animals your child should know, from P to Z, with videos of their corresponding sign:

*These words were selected from the MacArthur-Bates CDI Words and Sentences assessment.
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Do You Understand Audiometric Evaluations?

Here’s the lowdown on all the abbreviations and words you often hear:

ABR or auditory brainstem response

The auditory brainstem response (ABR) test gives information about the inner ear (cochlea) and brain pathways for hearing. This test is also sometimes referred to as auditory evoked potential (AEP). The test can be used with children or others who have a difficult time with conventional behavioral methods of hearing screening. The ABR is also indicated for a person with signs, symptoms, or complaints suggesting a type of hearing loss in the brain or a brain pathway.

The ABR is performed by pasting electrodes on the head—similar to electrodes placed around the heart when an electrocardiogram is run—and recording brain wave activity in response to sound. The person being tested rests quietly or sleeps while the test is performed. No response is necessary. ABR can also be used as a screening test in newborn hearing screening programs. When used as a screening test, only one intensity or loudness level is checked, and the baby either passes or fails the screen.

ASSR

Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) is a test used to determine hearing loss in children who are either too young to respond or are unable to respond. Most children are referred for an ASSR after a newborn hearing screen in the hospital indicates the possibility of hearing loss. This test is typically performed at the same time as the ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response).

The audiologist will scrub the skin where four electrodes will be placed (forehead and behind the ears). Once your child is sleeping, the audiologist will place small ear phones into his or her ears that will play tones of varying frequency (pitch) and intensity (loudness). This sound travels from your child’s ears to the brain (through the auditory pathway) where it is recorded through the electrodes. ASSR provides an accurate, frequency-specific estimate of the behavioral pure-tone audiogram.

OAE

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are sounds given off by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated by a sound. When sound stimulates the cochlea, the outer hair cells vibrate. The vibration produces a nearly inaudible sound that echoes back into the middle ear. The sound can be measured with a small probe inserted into the ear canal.

People with normal hearing produce emissions. Those with hearing loss greater than 25–30 decibels (dB) do not produce these very soft sounds. The OAE test is often part of a newborn hearing screening program. This test can detect blockage in the outer ear canal, as well as the presence of middle ear fluid and damage to the outer hair cells in the cochlea.

Otoscopic exam

Otoscopy is an examination that involves looking into the ear with an instrument called an otoscope (or auriscope). This is performed in order to examine the ‘external auditory canal’ – the tunnel that leads from the outer ear (pinna) to the eardrum.

Inspection of the eardrum can also provide a lot of information about what’s happening within the middle ear – the space within the skull where the hearing and balance mechanisms are situated.

The examination is performed by gently pulling the outer part of the ear upwards and backwards. This action straightens the external auditory canal, which has a natural curve, and makes it easier to see the eardrum.

The normal external auditory canal has some hair, often lined with yellow to brown wax. The total length of the ear canal in adults is approximately 2cm, which gives it a resonance frequency of approximately 3400 Hz, which is an important frequency region for understanding speech.

Abnormal findings may include:

  • a dry, flaky lining suggestive of eczema. The usual symptom is of itch.
  • an inflamed and swollen, narrowed canal, possibly with a discharge indicating infection (otitis externa). The usual symptoms include itch, local discomfort, a discharge and often an unpleasant smell from the ear.
  • wax obscuring the eardrum.
  • a foreign body in the ear, such as the rubber from the end of a pencil.

Tympanometry

Tympanometry is an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the conduction bones by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal.

Tympanometry is an objective test of middle-ear function. It is not a hearing test, but rather a measure of energy transmission through the middle ear. The test should not be used to assess the sensitivity of hearing and the results of this test should always be viewed in conjunction with pure tone audiometry.

Tympanometry is a valuable component of the audiometric evaluation. In evaluating hearing loss, tympanometry permits a distinction between sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, when evaluation is not apparent via Weber and Rinne testing. Furthermore, in a primary care setting, tympanometry can be helpful in making the diagnosis of otitis media by demonstrating the presence of a middle ear effusion.

Acoustic reflexes

Acoustic reflex measures add information about the possible location of the hearing problem. Everyone has an acoustic reflex to sounds. A tiny muscle in the middle ear contracts when a loud sound occurs. The loudness level at which the acoustic reflex occurs—or the absence of the acoustic reflex—gives information to the audiologist about the type of hearing loss.

BOA or Behavioral Observation Audiometry

BOA tests hearing by provoking a behavioral response to an acoustic stimulus. Used for infants from birth through seven months, the patient is observed for responses such as body movement, eye widening, eye opening or change in sucking rate after a stimulus is provided. This test is used to rule out hearing loss and related conditions

 VRA or Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

During VRA, the child uses earphones or sits between two speakers from which certain sounds are presented. A tone, speech or music may be played in order to encourage the child to respond by shifting their eyes or turning their head. When the child responds to the stimulus, they are rewarded with an interesting visual display, such as an animated toy. VRA performed with headphones can test each ear separately, while testing without headphones evaluates the child’s sound field instead. This test is ideal for children between the ages of seven and thirty months.

Play Audiometry

Conditioned play audiometry can be used as the child matures and is commonly used with toddlers and preschoolers (ages 2–5). The child is trained to perform an activity each time a sound is heard. The activity may involve putting a block in a box, placing pegs in a hole, or putting a ring on a cone.

Bone conduction testing

If there is a blockage, such as wax or fluid, in the outer or middle ears, a method called pure- tone bone conduction testing may be used. With this technique, the blockage is bypassed by sending a tone through a small vibrator placed behind the ear (or on the forehead). The signal reaches the inner ear (or cochlea) directly through gentle vibrations of the skull. This testing can measure response of the inner ear to sound independently of the outer and middle ears. In these cases, this test helps the audiologist determine the type of hearing loss being measured.

A Day in the Life: Meet Franklin

Meet Franklin who is 5 years old. He is profoundly deaf and was identified at 1 year old. His parents, who are hearing, have chosen ASL as his modality. He is in kindergarten in a mainstream classroom.

4:03 PM

Franklin is just arriving home after a long 7 hour school day. He is hot and sweaty after his 45 minute bus commute from school to his house. He has homework to do – read a book and draw a picture of his favorite scene in the book. He can’t read yet, so he has to wait until his parents are able to read to him and help him with his homework.

Franklin is preparing for his homework activity by setting up on the kitchen table his paper, colored pencils, and the book he’s chosen. Mom works from home but doesn’t finish work until 5 PM. Dad won’t be home until much later, usually after 9 PM. Mom is a hearing parent whose ASL has improved greatly over the past several years, but she doesn’t feel confident in her ability communicating with Franklin.

Spotlight on Service: Medicaid Transportation

Medicaid Transportation
In Georgia, and anywhere in the United States for that matter, Medicaid covers non-emergency transportation to Medicaid members who need access to medical care or services. Eligible Medicaid members must contact the broker serving their county three days in advance of their appointment to schedule transportation. Each broker has a toll free number to schedule transportation and is available Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm.

Medicaid Brokers

How To: Add Language To Your Daily Routines

Sara spends hours on the bus with Harry every week, to and from services, work, and daycare. Here is a language lesson that any parent like Sara could use to incorporate language into their daily bus ride.


HOW TO: Add language to a bus or train ride

https://www.atlantaspeechschool.org/TALK

  1. Using the TALK strategy: Become a narrator of your child’s world by using the TALK strategy and Tune In, Ask Questions, Lift the Language, and Keep it Going to what your child is looking at and naming it or describing what’s happening.
  2. Vocabulary: Tier 1 words (basic words) for younger children or children with 1-2 spoken/signed words (i.e. trees, cars, bus, train, people, eating, running, jumping, let’s hurry, uh oh!) and Tier 2 words for older children (3 years and up) or children with 3 or more words spoken or signed

101 Tier 2 Words:

1. Abundance- more than enough of something

2. Admire- to like the way something looks

3. Advice- what you think someone should do

4. Annoy- to bother

5. Appear-to show up

6. Arrange- to put something in order

7. Arrive- to get somewhere

8. Assist- to help

9. Astonished- very surprised

10. Attentive- pay attention

11. Available- ready to be used

12. Avoid- stay away from

13. Brief- a short time

14. Cautious- careful

15. Collect- to get things together; to pick up things that belong together

16. Combine- to mix or put together

17. Comfort- to make feel better

18. Comfortable- to feel good

19. Communicate- to let someone know what you think or feel

20. Compare- to see how things are alike and different

21. Complete- finish

22. Concentrate- to think about something really hard

23. Concerned- worried

24. Confused- when you don’t understand

25. Contain- to have or hold something inside

26. Corner- the point where 2 sides come together

27. Correct- right

28. Create- to make

29. Curious- want to know

30. Dangerous- not safe

31. Delighted- happy

32. Demonstrate- to show how to do something

33. Describe- to tell about something

34. Destroy- to tear up; to ruin

35. Determined- to keep working at something until you get what you want; to not give up

36. Difficult -hard to do

37. Disappear- to go away

38. Disappointed- upset because things did not work out the way you wanted them to

39. Discover- to find out about something

40. Dispose- to throw away; get rid of

41. Eager- really ready for something to happen

42. Edible- you can eat it

43. Enormous- really big

44. Entire- the whole thing; all of something

45. Envy- want what somebody else has

46. Equal- the same as

47. Event- something that happens

48. Except- all but

49. Excited- really happy about something; having a lot of energy

50. Expect- to think something will happen

51. Expensive- cost a lot of money

52. Extraordinary- really special; very different and wonderful

53. Familiar- you’ve seen it before or you already know it

54. Famous- known by a lot of people

55. Fancy- really special

56. Favorite- the one you like best

57. Fewer- not as many

58. Fragile- breaks or gets hurt easily; not strong

59. Frustrated- feeling upset when you keep trying to do something but it doesn’t work

60. Identical – the same in every way; exactly the same

61. Ignore- not pay attention to

62. Imitate- do the same thing somebody else does

63. Immense- really big; huge

64. Impossible- can’t be done

65. Introduce- to show for the first time; to meet for the first time

66. Invisible- you can’t see it

67. Locate- to find

68. Marvelous- wonderful

69. Observe- to watch carefully

70. Occupied- being used by someone else

71. Ordinary- plain; regular; not special

72. Organize- to put in good order

73. Patient- to wait nicely

74. Peculiar- strange

75. Pleased- happy with something

76. Plenty- a large amount; a lot

77. Popular- liked by a lot of people

78. Predict-to say or to guess what is going to happen

79. Problem- when something goes wrong

80. Protect- to keep safe

81. Protect- to keep safe

82. Proud- to feel good about yourself; to feel good about something you did

83. Purchase- to buy

84. Recall- to remember

85. Remain- to stay

86. Remove- take away

87. Repair- to fix

88. Repeat- to do again

89. Ridiculous- very silly

90. Select- to choose

91. Separate- take apart

92. Similar- the same in some ways but not all

93. Simple- easy to do

94. Solution- a way to fix something that went wrong

95. Supplies- things you need

96. Transfer- to move from one place to another

97. Unusual- different; really special; not familiar

98. Useful- can be used a lot

99. Vanish- to go away fast

100. Variety- different kinds of one thing

101. Visible- you can see it

Monday: A Day in the Life

Meet Harry, who is 24 months old. He was identified at 8 months old with a profound hearing loss. He now has bilateral cochlear implants. His mom, Sara, has chosen Listening & Spoken Language as his modality. They receive services at the Auditory Verbal Center.

8:03 AM
Sara has slept through her alarm and baby Harry’s auditory-verbal therapy is at 10 AM on the other side of town. When Sara realizes this, she rushes to get Harry up and ready to go. Their bus picks them up at 8:25, so they don’t have even a second to lose. If they miss this bus, they will miss their therapy appointment, which will take another four weeks to reschedule. At 8:24, they make it to their bus stop, which is, luckily, right outside their apartment. They hop on the bus and head off to the Auditory Verbal Center.

Sara has been tossing and turning for the past six months, ever since her pediatrician told her that if Harry doesn’t receive the proper early intervention services, he will not have the language he needs to learn how to read. Sara’s a single mother whose worries range from How will I make rent this month? to Will my baby ever talk?
She wonders if she’s reading to him enough, talking to him enough, interacting with him enough.
Harry is a happy baby, interested in the world around him and the new sounds he hears every day. He enjoys reading books with his mommy and he has just started saying “mama.” Sara was overjoyed to hear her baby boy speak her name…

The 100 Babies Project

100BabiesInfographic

More about the 100 Babies Project, in the words of former Project Manager, Dr. Jessica Bergeron:

“Georgia Pathway started off as a community of practice for teachers, teachers who serve children who are deaf and hard of hearing. It started in June of 2011 in an effort to provide online support for teachers and improve their practices around literacy. We are the only group to combine LSL (Listening & Spoken Language), state-run ASL (American Sign Language)/bilingual programs, with county comprehensive programs with the common goal of grade level reading. We are the only group of our kind. Our 3rd grade goal is the same as our governor’s, which is that all children will be on a path to 3rd grade reading by 2020. Once we became a coalition in 2012-2013, we were working together to examine research-based practices that promote literacy development. Then, we recognized that we couldn’t be successful if we didn’t also target the system from birth to three. We then had a coalition meeting in June 2013. At that meeting, we made an effort to target the system, all of the people within the system instead of just teachers. This included policymakers, pediatricians, Department of Public Health, et al. Many great things happened at that meeting, but one of the best things that happened at that meeting was the creation of action teams. The Funding and Policy Action Team included Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald who is the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health in Georgia. She declared at that meeting that the next 100 babies who are diagnosed with hearing loss in Georgia would be on a path to grade level reading. She committed herself to making the changes that were needed to make it happen.

The mission of the 100 babies project is to create an efficient system that ensures that all children will be on a path to grade level reading. At the beginning of the project, the coalition started at the beginning of the literacy process, from pre-birth medical visits to 3rd grade reading, examining all interactions that would promote language growth, which is the foundation for literacy. It was an investigation of all parties that contribute to a child’s birth to literacy plan. It helped the coalition identify gaps and system failures. The gaps were places where issues arose that weren’t owned by any particular agency. The agencies have taken responsibility for their part. We are committed to staying six months ahead of the process. The 100 Babies is a first-run, testing the working system in place in Georgia for babies birth to 3rd grade. The breakdown of the project begins with investigation, then helping agencies problem solve and trouble shoot, and finally filling in the gaps. For each transaction, the focus is twofold. What capacity are we building in parents to empower their children? And how is this step building that child’s language?”

Stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved in this groundbreaking work!

 

Speech vs. Language: What’s the difference?

In order to understand the importance of language, we have to know the difference between two commonly confused terms — speech and language.

What’s the difference?

SPEECH

Speech is the verbal means of communicating. It’s how spoken language is conveyed. Speech includes the following:

a) Articulation — how speech sounds are produced by the articulators (lips, teeth, tongue, palate, velum). For example, a child must be able to produce an /m/ sound to say “me.”

b) Voice — use of the vocal folds and exhalation to produce sound. The voice is characterized by pitch, loudness, and resonance (oral- or nasal-).

c) Fluency — how smoothly the sounds, syllables, words, and phrases are joined together in spoken language.

LANGUAGE

Language is a system of socially shared rules that are understood (i.e. Language Comprehension or Receptive Language) and expressed (i.e. Expressive Language and Written Language) that includes the following:

a) Form — how words are put together that make sense (syntax or grammar); also how new words are formed (morphology)

b) Content — what words mean (semantics)

c) Use — how the language is used to convey meaning in specific contexts (pragmatics)

Was this helpful or was this information you already knew? Let us know at gapathway@gmail.com.

3 Things You Missed from Georgia Hands & Voices’ Back to School Bash

So you were a little bogged down with the back to school chaos that ensues every year at about this time, and you couldn’t make it to GA Hands & Voice’s event?

No problem.

We checked in with their Executive Director, Terri Patterson for an inside scoop of what we missed…

Georgia Hands & Voices 5th Annual Back to School BASH

BASH1

With over 70 families and professionals (deaf educators, administrators, interpreters, SLPs, Audiologists, students in higher education, GA Pines Parent Advisors to name a few) in attendance, 19 exhibitors, 8 teen panelists, 7 session presenters, 3 sponsors and one very dynamic guest speaker: we believe the Georgia Hands & Voices 5th Annual Back to School BASH at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf on August 17 was a great success. 

YOUR TEENAGER’S SELF-ESTEEM

BASH3

We were honored to have Mr. Ken Levinson who crossed the country to come and talk about why and how teenagers develop positive, healthy self-esteem. Mr. Levinson is the Co-Founder and Lead Counselor of the AG Bell Association’s Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) Program. Mr. Levinson focused his talk on building healthy self-esteem in children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, regardless of their communication modes or methods.   “I AM GREAT” spoke to the different characteristics that are vital to developing confidence and positive self-esteem in ALL teenagers and took it further to address the unique needs of teens who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  He emphasized the necessity of allowing kids to develop independence by experiencing everything and taking chances, making mistakes and learning from them. Also, he also shared the importance of teens in developing a positive attitude and a behavior of respect. Teens need to get involved in groups that help develop stronger bonds; find good role models, particularly those that are D/HH; set expectations high and learn to laugh at themselves.

TEEN PANEL

Teen Panel 1

We were also lucky enough to have him facilitate our teen panel which closed the day down providing great wisdom and enlightenment.  Mr. Levinson’s humor and honesty really drew out the panelists, who ranged from “almost” 13 through 19 years of age.  They represented diverse cultural backgrounds, academic settings, communication choices and personality characteristics, while finding quite a bit of common ground and experiences. It was really thrilling to see them become so animated up on the stage and express themselves with such honesty, especially after sharing how nervous they were in the beginning.  From one 14 year old boy sharing the story of losing his implant off of a rollercoaster (of course, the Executive Director’s son) to a 15 year old sharing the benefits of sign language “because you can communicate with a mouth full of food,” they let their personalities shine.  They talked about wanting to go to college, wanting to become a teacher, wanting to develop their skills in mechanics.  Mr. Levinson continually emphasized that our children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing can be ANYTHING they want to be and the importance of having positive Deaf and Hard of Hearing role models.  This was echoed by our audience during their questions and comments for the panelists. I think this group is well on their way to doing just that!

Along with these empowering presentations to our larger group, we also had 5 breakout sessions during the day.  We covered topics ranging from “Intro to ASL” presented by a couple, Karmon, who works with the Georgia Parent Infant Network for Educational Services program (GA PINES) and Michael Cain, an American Sign Language Instructor at Georgia Perimeter College, who are both Deaf; to “Transition to What? What Happens After High School” by Becky Sills, a Director of VR Services. To add to the mix, G.R.E.A.T.D.A.Y. Inc. who provides mental health resources for the Deaf community presented; our Board President, Carianne Muse, who is also a member of the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing (JCIH), presented “What Should You Expect from Early Intervention Services” addressing the recently published set of JCIH recommendations on Early Intervention Services and how they relates to the current services provided in our state. Our final session choice, “Your Child’s Journey Towards Graduation: What You Need to Know,” was presented by Dr. Kenney Moore, the Director of the Division of State Schools and Dr. Frank Nesbit, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program Consultant for the Department of Education.  The brain trust at this event was unbeatable!

Teen Panel 2

SIB SHOPS

So, while our wonderful volunteers from the Georgia Perimeter College Sign Language Interpreter Training Program, GA PINES and the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf provided a safe, fun and accessible environment for our children and the Georgia Sensory Assistance Project put on a Sib Shop for the 7-9 year old hearing siblings, the teens and adults were filled with knowledge and had an opportunity to connect as a community.  Add in the exhibitor break time, and some lunch and it made for a full, satisfying day.

PRAISE FOR THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH

BASH2

A few of the comments on the evaluations of the event: “Incredibly brave, bright, insightful young people!” “It was needed and nice to socialize with other parents.”  “Super fun!!!” “They were able to answer a lot of questions.”

SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS

We are grateful for the sponsorship provided by Georgia Relay, Active Life Hearing Loops and Cochlear Americas.  We also had a large diverse group of exhibitors at our event:

  • Advanced Bionics, AASD, AASD Accessible Materials Project, Auditory-Verbal Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, GA Bell, GACHI/Georgia Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program, GA PINES, Georgia Peach Cochlear Implant Association, Georgia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Georgia School for the Deaf, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project, Med-El, Oticon and G.R.E.A.T.D.A.Y, Inc.

I am grateful to all of the families in Georgia that feel as passionate as I do about ensuring our children get what they need when they need it to be successful, and continually reinforce why Hands & Voices is a valuable organization and community in our state.

WHAT’S NEXT AT GA HANDS & VOICES?

So, as we move forward with the 2013-14 school year, ensuring that our families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children have the resources, the connections and the tools they need to empower their children to be successful, academically, socially and personally, in order to reach their full potential, so that they grow up to become who and whatever they dream and aspire to be.  Be watching for more info on our next event: “The Unique Communication Considerations for Your Child’s IEP/IFSP: What You Need to Know!” on October 5, 2013 at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf from 8:30am to 1:00pm.  For more info and to RSVP please send an email to rsvp@gahandsandvoices.org or info@gahandsandvoices.org.  Check out our website, www.gahandsandvoices.org .

Hands and Voices IFSP IEP Event

To learn more about Georgia Pathway to Language & Literacy and our goal for the year 2020, please visit our website at www.georgialiteracy.org or email us at gapathway@gmail.com.