University of Edinburgh

Sounds to Words: following babies with implants in the first year

Presented on Thursday, 30th October 2014


This course followed the development of three babies, all born profoundly deaf and implanted around their first birthday. It followed their development and considered the techniques and strategies their parents used to accelerate spoken language development. Looking in detail at their progression, participants were expected to think diagnostically, identify levels of function and plan for the next steps. The course made use of filmed therapy sessions and gave the opportunity to think in-depth about the learning to listen year. This course helped participants to:

  • know expected levels of progress in learning to listen;
  • identify techniques and strategies used to accelerate spoken language development;
  • analyse video clips to identify levels of functioning across audition, speech, language and play;
  • apply learning to generate a plan for a child needing support.

Here are just a few of the evaluation comments received from those who attended the above course on 30th October at SSC.

“Excellent course - perfectly pitched - great, interesting thought provoking presentation. Thank you”
“Inspirational - brilliant to share practice.”
“Honest and practical information delivered by an excellent practitioner.”
“Lots of ideas to work with parents and infants to encourage language developments”

Lyndsey Allen, presenter, gave an excellent insight into early language acquisition and the expected levels of progress of children learning to listen. She gave a variety of ideas and strategies on how to develop spoken language development and, by using video clips, showed how to identify levels of functioning across audition, speech, language and play. She encouraged us to be creative when working with young children and to rethink how we work with parents in order to ensure we empower them. The day passed very quickly and everyone went away fired up ready to put into place what they had learned from the day. Attendees reported they felt their knowledge of early language acquisition and how to help develop this had been enhanced and that this would be beneficial to parents, pupils and colleagues. The only change participants wanted was:

“More time. There is a whole lot more that we could have learned”
“Make it two days next time”


Lyndsey Allen, LSLS Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist, The Ear Foundation.

Target Audience

Teachers, speech & language therapists, parents and all who support cochlear implanted babies and young children.


10.30 am Baby brain development & access to sound

11.15 am Typical Development

11.30 am Sound to words

3.15 pm Take home messages and Course Evaluations