Staff News: Sarah Miller Earns LSLS Credential

For more than 25 years, Child’s Voice has successfully prepared children with hearing loss to enter their neighborhood elementary schools with listening and spoken language skills equal to their new classmates. To do this, our expert staff constantly pursues professional development opportunities. Sarah Miller, one of our early intervention speech-language pathologists, has recently attained the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Auditory-Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert. AVT) certification. According to Child’s Voice Director of Clinical Services Rollen Cooper, that certification ranks as one of the highest standards of professionalism in the field of teaching children with hearing loss how to listen and talk.

Sarah started working with us in 2019 just after receiving her master’s degree at the University of South Carolina, which has a specialized track for pediatric hearing loss within their speech pathology graduate program. 

We asked Sarah a few questions as she celebrates this milestone.

First of all, can you talk about how you prepared for earning your LSLS certification?

My experiences over my last few years at Child’s Voice have been instrumental in preparing me for the LSLS certification process. I have had the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced therapists that are highly knowledgeable regarding the application of Auditory-Verbal Therapy principles within the birth-3 population. The certification process provides many opportunities for collaborative and self-reflection. Working with my mentors to review sessions was a great opportunity for me to set future goals while also being able to recognize my growth as a clinician. It can often be easy to pick out the areas that we would like to improve in, but it was nice to have my mentors helping me see the positive growth I was making along the way. As I have been working toward this goal, many of the other therapists have taken time out of their busy schedules to mentor and support me on this journey. I feel truly grateful to have had such a wonderful support system here at Child’s Voice. 

All families want to see their children become successful communicators and it is such a joy to share in that journey by guiding and supporting the family during these crucial early years of development.   

Sarah Miller

Can you describe what you do when you visit families at home? Is there a routine you follow, and how do you incorporate families into your sessions?

I like to begin my sessions by checking in with the family regarding any new developments, successes, or challenges they may have experienced since our previous session. Throughout the session, I work with the caregiver(s) to address our current listening, speech, and language goals using toys, routines, and activities that the family already uses within their typical day. I really try to prioritize the family’s goals for their child. The families that I work with have so many great ideas for supporting their children’s development and I always want them to feel that their ideas and efforts are highly valued. They are the ones that know their children best, and it is a privilege for them to allow me to come into their homes and be a part of their routine each week. All families want to see their children become successful communicators and it is such a joy to share in that journey by guiding and supporting the family during these crucial early years of development.   

Rollen Cooper says that Child’s Voice’s dedication to providing children and families with high-quality services includes encouraging staff members to develop professional goals so that they can stay abreast of new advances in the area of pediatric hearing loss.

“I remember when we interviewed Sarah, she told me that her ultimate goal was to become a LSLS Cert. AVT,” he says. “Becoming certified is an arduous process and one that takes a great deal of time, effort and dedication.” The certification candidate, Rollen says, has to be mentored by a professional who holds an LSLS certification for a period of at least 3 years. This mentorship consists of observations of therapy and discussions about best practice. The candidate must also attain 80 hours of professional development and pass a rigorous examination.

“Child’s Voice is very supportive in helping staff achieve this certification and is able to provide mentorship and access to professional development. I served as one of Sarah’s mentors and it has been a privilege to watch her grow professionally and hone her clinical skills. I am thrilled for her now as she has achieved her goal. The families at Child’s Voice are fortunate to have such a highly qualified and caring therapist. Sarah is an asset to our team and we look forward to working with her for many years to come.”

Congratulations Sarah!