Family-Infant Specialist

​What is special about the family-infant teacher/specialist?

Your family-infant teacher or family-infant specialist is a trained professional who has knowledge about hearing loss and its effect on a child's communication development. Your family-infant teacher can help you with information about:​

  • Audiograms, hearing aids, and cochlear implants
  • The emotions of parents who are trying to make difficult decisions about their children's communication
  • Different types of spoken language and sign language approaches
  • Different ways for parents and children to communicate
  • How to help the baby access lots of language each day
  • How to help parents turn their home into a good listening environment
  • How to help parents turn their home into a good visual environment
  • How to keep track of children's language progress and help families understand if goals are being met
  • How to help parents feel confident when you play with your baby and respond to things your baby finds interesting
  • How to access other helpful supports (like other parents or role models who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing)

How does the family-infant teacher work to support my child and family? 

The professional who comes to your home may have different titles – we call it family-infant teacher as a way to recognize that the goals are to support BOTH the family and the infant. This professional will provide support to you and your family so that you will build on your strengths and gain new skills in parenting a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.​

The family-infant teacher will work with you to:

  • Evaluate the child's strengths and current developmental skills. This information will be used to write an Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP). This road map will guide you and the family-infant teacher as you go about learning and growing with the baby.
  • Identify priority needs for the child and family.
  • Address priority goals and evaluate progress and set new goals for yourselves and your baby.  Communicate with your baby and encourage your baby's development through natural daily routines.
  • Communicate with your baby and encourage your baby's development through natural daily routines.
  • Find support and resources as you learn to cope with and understand what it means to have a baby that is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Identify additional sources of support, like other parents and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Recognize your expertise as your baby's parent and strive to develop a comfortable and effective partnership with you.

Family-infant teacher role:

  • Become a resource to you as you search for answers how best to help your baby to learn.
  • Help you identify and evaluate the best approaches to communicating with your baby.
  • Watch as you interact naturally with your baby, pointing out the many positive things you already do to support your baby's learning.
  • ​Suggest additional techniques to encourage the baby's early language and communication development.