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Deaf and Hard

of Hearing

Deaf and Hard of Hearing children require intensive and specialized speech and language therapy, whether their hearing loss is mild or profound. Amanda worked in Oakland County’s center-based program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children of all ages, for 15 years.


Therefore, this area of therapy is prevalent in our practice. Early intervention for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children is critical for the development of their auditory listening, verbal expression and literacy.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing children can learn language and maintain age appropriate skills. The children are most successful when therapy occurs as early as possible, amplification is appropriate and consistent and the child has strong family support. It is very important for the families of children with hearing loss to work with a speech and language therapist that specializes in this area.

Amanda can communicate with you and your child using American Sign Language, when appropriate.

Visual Phonics

The English alphabet contains 26 letters that are used for spelling. However, these letters do not directly correlate to speech production. Learning to read and pronounce words, given only the printed word can be very difficult for Deaf and Hard of Hearing communicators. Often, the sound is very subtle and difficult to hear, even with hearing aids and cochlear implants. Visual Phonics is a system of 56 gestures and printed symbols that represent English sounds and teach a concrete sound without the confusion of spelling.

For example, consider the sound that “a” makes in the word “lake.”  This sound can be spelled in many ways: “a” with a

silent e, “eigh”, “ay”, and “ey.”  Using visual phonics, we can provide a graphic symbol under the word to show the sounds:


A gesture is also used to pair with the sound. Visual Phonics provides significant visual and tactile information for more advanced communicators in the form of grammatical markers such as verb tenses, possessives, and plurals.

Consider the past tense verb “ed.” It can be pronounced in three different ways, depending on the sound that proceeds “ed.”


Likewise, consider the “s” in plurals, possessives, and present tense verbs.  It can be pronounced in three different ways, depending on the sound that proceeds “s.”


Please view the videos of my good friends Addy and Ali to see Visual Phonics in therapy.

For more information on Visual Phonics, please visit   SEE THE SOUND

Therapy Examples

Meet Ali

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Meet Addy

My daughter Addy was born Deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants.  She is now ten years old.  She was at the ages of two and three when she received each of her implants.  Due to the absence of language for such a long period of time, she struggled to comprehend receptively and articulate expressively. She gravitated towards Sign Language because she was so visual it was easier for her to comprehend.

As Addy developed her communication skills with Sign Language it was used as a gateway to oral language. I had a difficult time finding a speech therapist who had the appropriate skills for Addys needs. 

A little over a year ago we found Amanda Tompkins and I have seen amazing growth in Addy. She incorporates Sign Language and visual phonics in her sessions. At times my daughter gets frustrated when she is unable to form certain words or hear certain sounds. Amanda is so patient with her and knows how to gently direct her and keep her motivated. She also has the great ability to calm her down when she is frustrated.  Every day I hear Addy using her voice more and more, and her frustrations become less and less.

I'm so pleased with the progress Addy has made with Amanda thus far, and I am excited to see her excel even more.


Thank you,

Leah R. , Michigan

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Meet Carson

A note from Carson's Mom:

“My son has cochlear implants due to a profound hearing loss. Amanda is great with him. She is very patient and always comes to each appointment with many activities to engage my son. He looks forward to her weekly visits.”


Terry, Mother of 2, Royal Oak

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“I have had the honor of working alongside Amanda for almost 15 years. As a therapist, she is talented, innovative, dedicated, and compassionate. She has a broad knowledge base and seeks to stay current in research and effective therapy practices.


Amanda is one of the few SLPs in the area who has many years of experience working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. She has extensive knowledge in both assessing and providing effective therapy for this unique population. Amanda uses various strategies with DHH students such as Visual Phonics and various auditory training strategies and sign language. She has been an advocate for her students and a parent educator. I can honestly say that I hold her in the highest esteem both personally and professionally. ”

–Christine Spike, M.A., CCC-SLP

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