March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


3/14/2016  |   11:05 AM - 11:35 AM   |  Topical Session 1   |  Towne/Esquire   |  3 - Language Acquisition and Development

Serve and Return: AV Strategies to Maximize Child Engagement

“One of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain is 'serve and return' interaction between children and significant adults in their lives (The Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University). Young children with typical hearing naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures, and adults respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. This back-and-forth process is fundamental to the wiring of the brain, especially in the earliest years. Early Interventionists recognize the importance of “serve and return” interactions for young children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. As professionals we are trained to always expect a response from the child through implementing specific strategies and techniques. This presentation will discuss and demonstrate how to utilize auditory-verbal strategies in a hierarchical sequence, how to modify quickly to engage a child in the “serve and return” process, and how to guide and coach families to provide this essential experience for young infants and toddlers with hearing loss. Participants will analyze and apply auditory-verbal strategies relative to the child’s developmental level in order to continually engage a child in the critical process of “serve and return” to shape the architecture of the developing brain for listening and spoken language as a building block towards literacy.

  • Explain how auditory-verbal strategies and techniques are critical to facilitate “serve and return” interactions between children who are deaf or hard of hearing and the significant adults in their lives that is critical in shaping the architecture of the developing brain.
  • Describe how auditory-verbal techniques and strategies can be used in a hierarchical sequence within a session to determine and modify the child’s ability to ask and answer questions.
  • Describe how combinations of auditory-verbal strategies can be utilized to determine, modify and extend a child’s conversational skills.

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Teresa Caraway (Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter,Author), Hearing First, tcaraway@hearingfirst.org;
Dr. Teresa Caraway, CEO of the educational endeavor of the Oberkotter Foundation to improve outcomes for children and their families through family and professional support and learning. She is the Founder and President of Learning Innovation Associates, and the Founder of Hearts for Hearing. A Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist, Dr. Caraway served as the founding President of the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language and as a founding board member of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance. She has previously served as a Director of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language, and Auditory-Verbal International. She has been recognized by her peers for outstanding clinical skills. A former Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Dr. Caraway is an international consultant and skillful workshop presenter on teaching spoken language through listening.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Wendelyn DeMoss (Co-Presenter), Hearing First, wdemoss@hearingfirst.org;
Wendelyn DeMoss, is the Programs Officer of Hearing First. Wendy founded DeMoss Consulting, LLC, to advance listening and spoken language for children and their families through professional training, consulting and mentoring throughout the US. Previously at Hearts for Hearing, Wendy provided listening and spoken language early intervention services by guiding and coaching families of children touched by hearing loss. In her role as Learning Programs Officer, Wendy utilizes her experiences to champion development and implementation of a wide variety of learning programs to be offered through the online Oberkotter learning communities.


Financial -

Nonfinancial -