Auditory Games for Babies Part 3: Presentation 4 Early Intervention Series Susan R. Easterbrooks Georgia State University
The Purpose of Auditory Games • To promote auditory attending • To promote auditory interactions • To promote listening • To relate speech sounds to experiences • To provide parents with a source of activities for promoting the above
Premises • Excluding the sleeping hours, the child with intact hearing listens and absorbs sounds around him for over 4000 hours during his first years of life. Ten minutes of auditory training daily for the five preschool years amounts to ~300 hours, or not even one‑tenth of the 4000 hours of listening and absorption time experienced by the child with ordinary hearing. • Structured, lesson-like auditory training lacks the richness of communication affect experienced by the infant and preschooler in the home. • When developing the listening function of the hearing impaired youngster, the above mentioned 4000 prerequisite hours begins to accrue only with the initial fitting of hearing aids. Time from that point on has been referred to as the child's "listening age“, so a 10 minute daily lesson is a high estimate. • For these reasons, an alternative to structured lessons must be provided to babies who are learning to listen. • Auditory Games are the alternative.
Criteria for Games • Auditory games must have a sequential basis. The sequence of vowels taught in the Ling curriculum (Ling, 1978) is one framework. Vowels carry the most acoustic energy of any speech element. Mastery of the vowels and mastery of the voice go hand in hand. Vowels also form the basis for canonical babbling, the first communication event that is under the child’s control. • An auditory program must be something that parents can do easily and naturally that they will incorporate it into their routine interactions with ease and pleasure.
Rules of Thumb • The child should wear binaural amplification at all times. Our brains are designed to process speech and language through two ears. Listening develops best with two hearing aids. Two aids are necessary for localization. • Adults should get on a child's level physically. This will help enhance lip-reading skills as well as ensure that the speaker will be as close to the child's hearing aids as possible. • Adults should talk as near to the child's aid as possible so as to approximate the distance between a parent who is holding or playing with his or her own child. The farther away you are from the aid, the less beneficial this early stimulation will be.
Adults should use natural voice patterns of rhythm, inflection, and intensity. Use the voice quality you would use with any baby. Do not over-exaggerate.Do not talk overly loudly. Speak naturally. • Choose a target phrase and repeat it as often as possible developing additional games to capitalize on that particular vowel combination. • New phrases should be added daily to the repertoire, slowly building up to a maximum level of stimulation. • Follow a language curriculum as as well as an auditory curriculum, incorporating auditory skills into your language routines.
Expect regional variations in pronunciation. The teacher and the parents should use their natural speech patterns and not attempt to match the dialects of one another. • Repeat activities often and present in an organized progression. Sounds must be repeated frequently for many reasons. • child may not be "listening" to what is being said • his attention may have been diverted to another sound or to a visual stimulus • you may have been too far away from the aid without realizing it • child may not have heard you at all. Repetition is important • In addition to target phrase, use words and phrases that are appropriate to the situation. After you have gone through the curriculum exposing the child to all sounds, repeat the sequence of activities which are appropriate for production activities. • HAVE FUN and don't stop talking!!
Characteristics of Stimuli • Use the actual experience itself. Actually do the activity or show the object you are describing (e.g., a real baby). • Use some three-dimensional representation of the concept you are talking about. Demonstrations, models, role‑playing, and simulations are all appropriate (e.g., a baby doll). • Use pictures of the actual object or experiences (e.g.,pictures of a real baby)with older babies. • Use representations of pictures, such as drawings, cartoons, pictures in storybooks and coloring books, etc.
Vary the ways you represent information (real, 3-D, pictures, etc.) • Use any activity that is inherently repetitive.For example, little children love to be bounced on your knees. Do this while saying "Bouncy bounce. Bouncy bounce." This activity is inherently repetitive in two fashions. • the act is repetitive itself (You don't just bounce the child once and leave it at that!), so you will say the target sound and again and again. • the act is inherently repetitive in that the child will initiate the activity, asking you to repeat it again and again.
Sequence of Vowel Combinations:Start with greatest distance (e.g., “oa-ee”). Move from highest to lowest auditory, visual, and tactile feedback • Diphthongs: i-e, a-e, oa, ou, u-e, oi • Group 1 Vowels: aw, -oo-, oo • Group 2 Vowels: -o-, -u-. er • Group 3 Vowels: ee. -a-. -i-. -e-
Highest Contrast Examples go to bed Use this at bedtime or whenever your child goes down for his/her nap. Use this target as you put dollies to bed. Look through "The Three Bears", "The Seven Dwarfs" or any story where children go to bed. Point out these pictures. Play a color matching game. Color and cut out ten little beds. Color and cut out ten little babies wrapped in blankets. Match the same color blanket to the same color bed. When child makes a match, say "Go to bed. Go to bed little baby. Go to bed."
open the letter Let your child open your mall everyday. Use this target each time he/she opens a piece of mail. Make mailboxes out of shoeboxes. Color or decorate them. Put Mommy on one box and the child's name on another box. Send letters back and forth to each other. Write a letter to grandma or friend. Have child draw a picture. Send it through the mail. Ask a friend or relative to have his or her picture taken opening the letter and another one of him or her holding up the picture. Comment on how the friend or relative opened the letter. Go visit daddy or mommy at the office. Walk around and look at people who are opening letters.
Medium Contrast Examples thank you • Say "thank: you'' anytime child gives you something. Enlist the aid of your family. Encourage them to say "thank you" to the child whenhe passes them a requested dish. • Put objects such as blocks into a can. Have child hand you a block one at a time and put it into another can. Say, “thank: you" each time he hands you a block.. Repeat until child gets the idea. Switch roles. Hand him the block and encourage him to say "thank you''. At Hardy’s or McDonald's, notice the "thank you" sign on the trash can. Point this out to the child. Make a game of throwing the trash away, one piece at a time. Each time you put a piece in say and point tothe word ''thank you".
bathroom When using the bathroom, say "bathroom”. "We're in the bathroom. Let’s go to the bathroom.“ If child indicates that he has to go to the bathroom say "bathroom". "You have to go to the bathroom. Let's go to the bathroom." When out shopping, take the child to the restaurant and department store. Say "bathroom)'. We're in the bathroom". When cleaning the bathroom ask child to help you. Let him ~ scrub the tub. Say "bathroom". Play with a dollhouse. Point out the bathroom in the dollhouse. Look through pictures in magazines and point out all the bathrooms.
cat food Let your child help scoop the cat food out of the cat food can. Say "cat food . "Get the cat food. Let s put down the cat food. Here's the cat food.'' Go to the grocery store and point out the cans of cat food. Get a little stuffed kitty cat or kitty cat puppet. Pretend that the puppet is eating cat food and say “Cat food. Eat the cat food". Look at pictures in magazines of cats eating cat food. Mate a collage out of pictures that you have cut from magazines.
Low or No Contrast Examples pat pat At nap time take turns patting each other’s back. Say "Pat, pat, pat, pat", in a sing song voice. After bath dab a powder puff into some loose powder and pat it on your arms, legs, tummy, etc. Say "Pat, pat, pat, pat. Pat your tummy, pat your knees. Pat, pat". Put your dollies to bed and pat their backs. Make cookies or a pie crust, let your child help you pat out the dough. Say "Pat, pat"
quack quack Visit a farm or public pond in your area, which has ducks. Listen to their sounds. Call attention to their quack quack sound and imitate it. Play with a rubber ducky in the bath tub. Say "Quack. quack" all the time. Point out ducks in books, magazines, coloring books, etc. and say "Quack quack" Pretend to be a mama duck with her little ducklings quacking behind her.
dance dance Turn on a record with a bouncy beat Dance to the music, saying "Dance, dance, dancey dance". Make your dolls dance. As you move their little legs, say ‘Dance, dance, dancey dance". Draw eyes, nose and mouth on the back of your hand.With V fingers, make a hand person dance. When you see people dancing, say the target phrase. Make gingerbread men. Let them dance, dance, dance into your child's mouth each time she takes a bite.
Other Auditory Activities • Listening to music and dancing • Singing • Playing piano • Reading a book • Making a concept book (e.g., bath time) • Focusing on characters in children’s literature (e.g., Mickey Mouse week)
What Next? After parents become comfortable with playing auditory and visual games and with focusing on specific language objectives, it will be time to introduce structured listening objectives. These include: • Sequence of auditory skills • (suprasegmentals, vowels, consonants, words, phrases) • Levels of perception • (identification, discrimination, identification, comprehension) • Levels of difficulty • (closed set, open set, varying levels of distraction)