Donald Goldberg uses real-life experiences for teaching and coaching
When Donald Goldberg, professor of communication sciences and disorders at The College of Wooster, works with children who are deaf and hard of hearing, his therapy sometimes looks like play, but he is actually teaching listening and language auditorily.
He cherishes his role as coach and teacher and uses his therapy work to augment how he teaches communication sciences and disorder students at Wooster.
One of his latest treatment successes is with two-year-old Corbin Grey Lapso, who had cochlear implants when he was seven months old. Corbin’s story was featured in a Cleveland Clinic article that includes Goldberg’s involvement as a member of the professional staff at Cleveland Clinic. He started providing auditory-verbal therapy with the baby when he was first fitted with hearing aids at about four weeks old. Goldberg continues to help Corbin learn how to improve his hearing now with the use of cochlear implants.
The toddler has done remarkably well, Goldberg said. “He was deaf, but I knew he would have sound (with the cochlear implants). To think it is not just a deaf child doing good, he is now doing better than all hearing children his age.”
He credits a great medical team, early intervention, and supportive parents—MaKaela and Tony Lapso—who are learning right alongside Corbin. Goldberg relishes being able to coach the children and the parents. “I’m directing the family that all interactions can be a listening and language opportunity. It’s not the therapist who makes a little baby a listener and talker, it’s their family,” he said.
During his 20-plus years at Wooster, Goldberg has used his experiences, including Corbin’s story, to educate communication sciences and disorders students about the field. One of the most important lessons is when he talks about counseling in the Auditory Rehabilitation class. “You cannot be a good coach or clinician unless you really have listening skills as a counselor,” he tells students. I get to ‘moo’ like a cow and ‘snort’ like a pig. I get to be silly and sing songs. What a way to stay young.”
The students also watch videos of children in therapy to prove the real takeaway: “The sky’s the limit. I think these kids can do anything.”
When asked how to teach children who are deaf to listen and talk, Goldberg answered, “You do all the things that Corbin’s family did and make use of the technology. I’m not completely comfortable saying it’s a miracle, but what it provides is miraculous.”
Photo credits: Lisa DeJong, Cleveland Clinic
Posted in News on March 22, 2023.
Related Areas of Study
Communication Sciences & Disorders
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