When to Start Early Intervention

​The answer to the question "When?" is "Now!"

Babies' brain development benefits from early stimulation and parents benefit from the support early intervention provides.

  • The earlier a baby starts to watch and/or listen to the language you are using, the sooner language, speech and/or signing and listening can develop.
  • ​Your family-infant teacher will support you in figuring out how to provide rich stimulation throughout the day during common routines like feeding, diapering and cuddling.
  • Early intervention will offer support as you make adjustments to knowing that your little one is deaf or hard of hearing.

How will we know if we are succeeding?

You and your family-infant teacher will observe your baby, watch for signs of development and for progress. Together you look for increasing eye contact and use of gestures and vocalizations from your baby in response to your voice and/or signs.

  • You and the family-infant teacher may use developmental checklists every week, every month, or every few months. These can help monitor progress and help you know next developmental steps to promote.
  • There are games or activities that you and the family-infant teacher will use to observe your baby's growth and development.
  • This process is called ongoing assessment.  Babies change so rapidly in their first months and years that we cannot wait a year to see if they are making progress.

How is assessment like a road map?

Your family-infant teacher will help you take cues from observing your baby.

  • How your baby responds tells you what is working and what to try next.
  • Ongoing assessments and observations teach us about how your baby likes to learn and communicate.
    • Many babies respond well to hearing aids and/or cochlear implants and learn by listening; other babies learn just as fast using their eyes.
    • If we pay attention to what babies do, and how they respond to us, we will know how to encourage their communication.
    • Communication decisions are very important, and need to be based on ongoing assessment.
    • Later, as we continue to observe, we can make new decisions based on new information.
    • ​Your early decisions are not necessarily “etched in stone” – they can be modified as the baby grows and needs change.