How Early Intervention Helps Your Child

​​Getting off to an EARLY start!

We want to give infants who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) the BEST possible start as learners and communicators.

  • Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing can experience delays in speech and language development.
  • Delays interfere with reading and social communication.
  • Getting an early start is the best way to PREVENT these delays.
  • Early Intervention is about fostering brain development and helping little ones become strong communicators, learners and thinkers.

How do we give our baby an EARLY start?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA – Part C) requires that states in the U.S. provide a free and appropriate education for babies who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Your audiologist, services coordinator, or other professional will help you enroll in early intervention services.​

  • Services may be provided through local public schools or other agencies.
  • Services should begin shortly after confirmation that your baby is deaf or hard of hearing.
    • A professional (called a family-infant teacher or early intervention specialist) usually comes to your home to provide support and ideas for helping your little one learn.
    • You know your baby better than anyone – so, the family-infant teacher wants to PARTNER with you to help the little one learn.

Partners (your family and the family-infant teacher(s) will work together to:

  • Learn and understand what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Increase confidence in parenting a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Learn to identify family strengths and build on them.
  • Identify priorities for early intervention.
  • Learn to recognize how your baby is trying to communicate so you can support and build on conversations.
  • Learn strategies for promoting language (spoken and/or signed), listening, and learning in everyday routines.
  • Learn ways to turn simple routines (diapering, feeding) into opportunities for encouraging your child’s language growth.
  • Identify family and community resources.​

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