Neonatal diagnosis and amplification of hearing loss shines a spotlight on our obligation to help parents assemble the skills they seek to develop their baby’s potential for language.
Very early diagnosis also sharpens our clinical focus on the latent potential of other conditions—such as oro-motor difficulties and Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)—to frustrate an infant’s anticipated progression to spoken language.
The Infant Monitor of Vocal Production (IMP) (Cantle Moore, 2004, Cantle Moore & Colyvas, 2018) was primarily conceived as a parent education tool, to scaffold parent understanding as to the nature and pace of their infant’s vocal progress. In recent years, the IMP has realised broader intervention use monitoring the vocal development of infants considered at risk for speech delay (Ward et al., 2021).
Clinically, the IMP is a normed instrument which documents and assesses when (or whether) an infant’s innate vocal behaviours transition to audition-led imitations of speech and salient words. The resulting shared parent and professional knowledge aids timely decision-making with regard to intervention, appropriate device fitting and/or language habilitation approach.
Online training material is available to interested parties. You can register on the eIMP website to access the Infant Monitor of vocal Production/eIMP assessment tool online.