March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


  |   -   |  4 - Early Intervention

Young Children's Auditory Development: Goals and Assessment

Children who have hearing loss and receive hearing aids and/or cochlear implants require auditory training to ensure that they develop listening skills to the best of their potential. Primary auditory skill development takes place within the first few years after access to sound. In order to make sure that this skill development is progressing appropriately, professionals need to be aware of the auditory hierarchy of skills, goals to facilitate development of these skills and timelines of expectation for acquisition of these skills. This presentation will review a hierarchy of auditory skills that progress from awareness to discrimination to identification to comprehension. At each of these levels, specific goals will be discussed that facilitate mastery of auditory skills and may be used for monitoring progress of auditory development. There are many tools available that detail the auditory hierarchy. Several of these will be discussed and modeled to highlight how they may be used to develop an understanding of the progression of auditory skills and how they may be used to monitor progress and set short and long term goals. The first part of the presentation will be lecture. It will conclude with participants being shown video clips in which they will have the opportunity to identify auditory behaviors. They will have the opportunity to use the tools discussed to determine auditory progress and develop appropriate goals. Using the information from this presentation, the participants will be able to 1.) understand the auditory hierarchy of development and goals to develop these skills, 2.) monitor acquisition of auditory skills, and 3.) develop IEP goals and short and long term objectives for use in the classroom, during therapy and in the home.

  • list the sequential order of auditory skill development.
  • identify at least three tools that may be used to assess auditory skill development.
  • develop short and long term auditory goals.

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MaryKay Therres (Primary Presenter), MED-EL, marykay.therres@medel.com;
MaryKay Therres is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Auditory-Verbal Therapist with over 20 years of experience working with children who have hearing loss. She had worked at Children’s Hospital & Research Center, Oakland for 13 years, previously as a member of the cochlear implant team and Management Coordinator of the Speech/Language Center and more recently as the Educator, Researcher & Outreach Liaison for CI. She was a Clinical Specialist on The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia cochlear implant team. She is currently the Manager of Education and Therapy for MED-EL. She co-authored AuSpLan: A Manual for Professionals Working with Children who have a Cochlear Implant or Amplification. She co-developed and co-instructed the Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants program. She has presented nationally and internationally. She has provided short courses, seminars, workshops and in-services to professional organizatons and school districts and guest lecturing and mentoring at several state universities.


Financial -

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Taylor Sands (Co-Presenter), MED-EL Corporation , taylor.sands@medel.com;
Taylor Sands is a Speech-Language Pathologist and LSLS Certified Auditory-Verbal Educator (LSLS Cert. AVEd) with over 10 years of experience teaching children and adults with hearing loss learning listening and spoken language. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from North Carolina State University in 2003 and her Master’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2005 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor is currently a Consumer Outreach Manager in the Southeast Region for the MED-EL Corporation. In this role, she provides support and outreach services for cochlear implant clinics, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, educators, MED-EL recipients, and CI candidates. Prior to joining MED-EL in 2013, she was an SLP at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Jacksonville, FL (2007-2013) and Pediatric Speech-Language Services, Inc. in Greensboro, NC (2005-2007).


Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from MED-EL Corporation.  

Nonfinancial - Has a Personal interest (I have a personal interest in supporting programs that help individuals with hearing loss and their families) relationship for Board membership.