If you have hearing impaired students on your caseload, you should be doing the Ling 6 Sound Check (sometimes called the Ling 6 Sound Test) at least daily.
WHY: The Ling 6 Sound Check ensures students are hearing acoustic signals across the entire speech sound spectrum. If the student is unable to identify the 6 speech sounds, access to the teacher's instruction is likely inadequate. The student may tell you that s/he can hear; however, s/he does not realize their ability to discriminate speech sounds is impaired. With this impairment, how is the student receiving Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)? The daily Ling 6 can catch potential problems with hearing devices and YOU can advocate for the student by getting him/her to the appropriate service provider.
WHAT: The Ling 6 Sound Check was created by Daniel Ling, an aural habilitation specialist, as a quick means of determining if hearing impaired device users were hearing speech sounds across the entire speech sound spectrum (low to high frequency speech sounds).
HOW: Performing the Ling 6 Sound Check is easy! Use your hand or some kind of barrier that doesn't distort sound to hide you mouth (no lip reading). Next, one at a time, present the following phonemes having the student repeat each sound: /a/, /i/, /u/, /m/, /s/, and /sh/. If the student identified each phoneme, that's it! Make sure you vary the order of the sounds each check. Students will memorize a repeated order quickly, making the results invalid.
If the student does not identify each phoneme, ask the student to listen very carefully, and repeat the check. If the student, again, does not repeat each phoneme, troubleshoot the hearing equipment (Is the device on? Does the device have working batteries? Are there any noticeable cracks in the hearing aid (HA) tubing or ear molds?). If a problem is found, fix the problem and repeat the check. If the student does not pass the check, document the incident and inform the parents or pediatric audiologist.
Younger students may not be able to identify the sounds by repeating them, you may want to use flashcards to have the student discriminate the sounds from one another.
Even younger students may be at the detection stage. With these students, condition them to drop an item into a can, or hit a bell, etc., when they hear a sound.
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