Speech & Communication
Can’t Express Feelings or Communicate
The way you listen supports the way you interact, socialise and learn. Communication and listening and are intimately connected because the voice can only reproduce what the ear hears. Those with significant auditory processing deficits usually have normal hearing but show the following weaknesses:
- Difficulty with verbal tasks
- Delayed language development (may also reflect hearing loss)
- Poor articulation (may also reflect motor/structural issue)
- Weak social skills (communication)
- Verbal IQ lower than other aspects of cognitive performance
How well can you express yourself?
Many of our clients are unable to express their thought or feelings, while many find it challenging to express themselves. For some, the quality of their voice is poor or they are terrified to speak publicly. Others are unable to sing or find it very difficult to master a foreign language. All of these patterns suggest a difficulty with auditory processing, which can be assisted with Listening therapy.
Do you like the sound of your voice?
As most of my clients are children, I usually record their mother as she reads a story. The purpose is to use these recordings of the Mother’s Voice as an important part of a child’s Listening therapy. After completing the recordings, as a courtesy, I usually ask if the mother would like to hear a sample. I almost always get the reply “No thanks, I hate the sound of my own voice” or “No thank you, my voice sounds awful.” I am used to it now, but this really shocked me at first – remember, this is the very same voice that (almost) every child loves.
My intuition tells me that this dislike has something to do with female self-esteem. My experience with those adult females who have completed a program is that they start to accept their voice, while some grow to love their voice, as their children do. This reflects a number of changes including changes to their voice and their self-esteem.
Would you like to sing?
A female client wanted to stay in a choir that was to sing the magnificent choral piece in Beethoven 9th Symphony. At 74 years old, she was losing her hearing and her ability to sustain the notes required for this piece. While I could not offer any promise that I could help, she decided to try a Home program. After six months, R***e found that she could sustain her notes and she completed the concerts with much joy and a great sense of achievement.
Connecting the ear and voice
The microphone completes the auditory-vocal circle by incorporating both hearing and listening. The Expressive phase of a program is a key part of the longer clinic programs, as well as some home programs. In this phase, clients speak into a microphone while hearing their own voice through headphones. Their voice is modified using the psycho-acoustic techniques of the program. This helps to awaken the client’s ear and voice to the inflections, intonations, tempo, rhythm and melody of language. Because this is powerful entertainment, the process facilitates an integration of the ear and the voice. It also delivers improved communication and voice quality and facilitates lasting change.