Additional Services and Specialists

Sometimes, young children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) have additional developmental needs, such as; vision impairment or motor or balance challenges.

There are several services from other professionals that your child may need.

  • Additional professionals can help identify special needs, address family or child "hurdles," or provide support resources along the way.
  • Some of the related services that your baby needs can be found through your school district.
  • Your services coordinator, your family-infant teacher, and other members of your team will work with you to determine if input from additional team members would benefit you and your child.

Occupational or Physical Therapy

Sometimes the cause of hearing loss is also the cause of motor or balance problems.

  • Many young children benefit from early occupational therapy (OT) or physical therapy (PT) services.
  • These professionals support the child's fine and gross motor development, visual- perceptual development, cognitive development and social-emotional skill development.
  • They work with you to help the child in areas such as; self-care skills (feeding skills, dressing, etc.), sensory integration, eye-hand coordination, learning to walk, coordinate movements, and improve balance.

Pediatric Ophthalmology

Visual acuity problems are more common in children who are DHH than in the general population.

  • Children who are DHH rely on their vision for understanding others.
  • Therefore, it is valuable for your child to have regular vision checkups from a pediatric ophthalmologist.
  • This medical professional will become involved on your team if your child has visual acuity or other functional vision needs.

Psychologist

  • Some young children have overall developmental delays that need to be addressed by the team.
  • Such children develop slower than other children across all areas of development, not just speech and language.
  • When this occurs, a psychologist can be helpful in identifying which areas represent your child's learning strengths and challenges.
  • A psychologist can also be helpful in addressing behavior management for children experiencing needs in that area.

Geneticist and/or Genetic Counselor

  • Some children who are DHH have genetic causes for their hearing loss.
  • Family history, genetic tests that require blood or urine samples, CT or MRI scans, eye examination, and vestibular (balance) test will help the professionals determine the cause of your child's hearing loss.
  • A geneticist and/or genetic counselor are helpful in explaining to families the genetic causes of hearing loss.
  • If you have questions about genetic testing, visit your ENT doctor.

Counselor

  • Family well-being is quite important for child development.
  • Your family-infant teacher and other team members will strive to provide social and emotional supports to promote the well-being of the family.
  • Sometimes families find that they need additional support to ensure well-being.
  • In such cases, you may request or be referred for professional mental health services from a counselor.

Teacher of the Deaf/Blind

  • If a child has a dual sensory impairment in hearing AND vision, a teacher who has training in BOTH areas of specialty may work with the family.
  • This professional typically becomes involved when there are significant needs in both vision and hearing. 

Remember, your family-infant teacher or service coordinator will be able to help you get in touch with the other members of your team. It is a good idea to keep a list of school district members, audiologists and doctors with their phone members and e-mail addresses.‚Äč