We Support the Parents of Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

 

Why is early intervention important?

The eventual language learning and educational success of any child with any type of hearing loss – unilateral or bilateral, mild, moderate, severe or profound, conductive or sensori neural – depends on Early diagnosis, Early amplification, and Early intervention. The three EARLY’s all before age 2! Without these, children are at risk for both language and learning delays.

Today’s technology has made more sound available to deaf and hard of hearing children than ever before. Having the ability to hear speech does not automatically ensure the development of good spoken language, however. There is much training that must take place over time.

Our Summit Speech School families have decided to take advantage of the prime “language acquisition window” of the first three years of life to give their children an auditory-oral approach to the development of spoken language. This includes using listening and speech – not signing – to develop the families’ mother tongue.

How do children qualify for services at Summit Speech School?

Children qualify for services in the Summit Speech School Parent Infant Program if they have a diagnosed or suspected hearing impairment, or if they have frequent ear infections that may lead to a language delay. Any child between the ages of birth and three that has a diagnosed hearing loss is automatically eligible.

What is the educational approach at Summit Speech School?

The Summit Speech School uses an auditory/oral approach to educating deaf and hard of hearing children. This means we focus on developing listening, speech and language. In the first contact with the family we explain the different educational approaches available to them. And, if the family chooses to pursue an auditory/oral approach, then we encourage them to set up an evaluation with the school.

What is the Parent Infant Program?

The Parent Infant Program employs teachers of the deaf to provide services to our families in their homes on a weekly basis. In addition to this, we also have a toddler program called Sound Beginnings that meets at the school. Parents participate in family education sessions or family support groups and also work with their children in small group session guided by a speech pathologist or teacher of the deaf.

What happens when my child reaches age three?

Children leave the Early Intervention system when they turn three. At Summit Speech School we help families learn about appropriate settings for their child. We give them the skills to be a powerful advocate for their child in the transition process to preschool. Some children attend our Preschool Program here at the Summit Speech School, others will attend a program in their school district and others will attend other schools for the hearing impaired. If a child has other complicating issues we will refer to a program that can meet the child’s primary need and provide itinerant services for the hearing impairment.

 

An interview with Miriam Esterkis,
Coordinator of the Parent Infant Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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