Auditory Verbal Center Celebrates May as National Speech-Language-Hearing Month

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Auditory Verbal Center proudly announces its
celebration of May as National Speech-Language-Hearing Month, a time
dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of communication and
advocating for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing. The Auditory
Verbal Center teaches mild to profoundly deaf children to hear and speak
without the use of sign language or lip reading.

With three out of every 1,000 children in Georgia born with hearing
impairments, most likely someone you know has a friend or family member that
knows a child affected by hearing loss. Dramatic advancements have been made
over the years for these children and their families. National
Speech-Language-Hearing Month provides an opportunity to recognize the
remarkable achievements of individuals with hearing challenges and the
dedicated professionals who support them. From audiologists to
speech-language pathologists and educators, their collective efforts
contribute to creating a more inclusive and accessible world for everyone

"At the Auditory Verbal Center, we are committed to empowering individuals
who are deaf or hard of hearing to thrive through innovative therapy and
unwavering support. There is nothing we won't do to help a child develop
listening and spoken language, so they have the literacy skills to be
successful in school and later in the workforce.," said Debbie Brilling,
Executive Director at the Auditory Verbal Center. "May being National
Speech-Language-Hearing Month allows us to celebrate the resilience and
determination of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and advocate
for greater awareness and accessibility."

With offices in Atlanta and Macon, the Auditory Verbal Center is a
specialized early intervention, family education program.  To help overcome
the barrier of transportation the Auditory Verbal Center uses teletherapy.
They provide a tablet and Internet to those families without access to

The family attends a one-hour weekly therapy session and continues to follow
through at home every day with activities to develop listening and spoken
language.  The Auditory Verbal Center empowers the parent to be the child's
primary role model and teacher for their child's development.  

The Auditory Verbal Center provides individualized therapy plans each week
to the family and provides learning to listen kits filled with toys, various
games and materials to be used while doing the activities at home.  Therapy
starts as early as two months old and when they graduate from the program,
they are age appropriate expressively and receptively to a normal hearing
child mainstreamed into a regular hearing classroom.    65% of the clients
at the Auditory Verbal Center are on Medicaid, some have no insurance, and
others have such high deductibles making if difficult for the family. To
support these families, the Auditory Verbal Center provides scholarships and
will never turn a child away because of money nor we will put a child on a

Dr. Chelsea Tehan, pediatrician, parent to an Auditory Verbal Center
graduate and appointed by Governor Kemp to Georgia Commission for Deaf and
Hard of Hearing, shared, "As a pediatrician as well as a parent of a deaf
child, I know with absolute certainty my child would not be thriving without
the support of Auditory Verbal Center. Their focus on providing early
intervention and comprehensive services to all children regardless of their
ability to pay, is truly phenomenal. There is no question the Auditory
Verbal Center is a true champion of the deaf and hard of hearing children in

According to new data from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
(ASHA), lack of awareness about the warning signs of communication
disorders-including hearing loss-is the leading factor that keeps families
from taking action.

Hearing loss signs in children include the following:

* Does not alert to sound (birth - 3 months)
* Does not respond when you call their name (7-9 months)
* Does not follow simple directions (13-18 months)
* Shows delays in speech and language development (birth - 3 years)
* Has difficulty achieving academically, especially in reading and
* Is socially isolated and unhappy in school