What Are Some of the Important Decisions My Family Will Make?

​There are many decisions ahead, but thankfully you won't be asked to make them all at once. After a child's hearing loss is diagnosed, a number of professionals will work with your family to support and guide you through the next steps. Learn about the roles of the professionals in Your Early Intervention Team

Your Rights as a Parent: IDEA, IFSP and IEP

If you are to become an effective advocate for your child, you must first know your rights, and the rights of your child.

Advice from Parents

As you learn more you will have the information and confidence needed to make tough decisions. This is a learning process, and it is important to be flexible and open to the advice and expertise of ​others.While the thought of having to make so many decisions for your child may be overwhelming, remember that most do not need to be made immediately. You are not alone in having to make these decisions. There is a wealth of information available to you through professionals, other parents, individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing, books and online.First and foremost, don't forget that you need to give yourself time to adjust to the fact that your child is deaf or hard of hearing and adjust to the changes that it might mean for your family. Once you have begun to do this, you will be able to start to educate yourself and move towards making the decisions that need to be made.The key to making good decisions for your child is to get all of the information you can from reliable sources. Make the decision based on the best information you can get at the time, and don't look back. If you remember this, you can't go wrong.I really think the key here is communication. Regardless of the method or mode, it is imperative that parents are able to communicate with their child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Parents who have limited communication with their child will not be able to effectively determine how the child is doing socially, emotionally, and educationally.It has been my experience that many parents (me included) often take professional's advice as gospel. While there are many wonderful professionals out there working in the field of deafness, there are also many who have very, very little knowledge of deafness, and they are advising parents on important issues. Make sure the professionals you deal with are knowledgeable on deafness because deafness is much, much more than the inability to hear.For example, a doctor or an Audiologist is unlikely to be fully qualified to give you advice on how to educate your child and the social and emotional issues that you will be faced with.