Early Beginnings for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Guidelines for Effective Services

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By Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, PhD/February 2014

Abstract

Infants who are deaf or hard of hearing and whose families are highly involved in a comprehensive early intervention program are off to a good start. Children enrolled in early intervention well before their first birthday are likely to experience growth in all areas of development and achieve far better outcomes overall than those children who have not had access to a newborn hearing screening program and participated in early intervention. With the support of skilled early intervention professionals, including professionals who are deaf, families can adapt quickly and begin learning how to communicate effectively with their infants. Early intervention programs face the unprecedented challenge of providing quality services to infants and their families soon after confirmation that the child is deaf or hard of hearing. This document explores myths and facts about the early years and early intervention services, and discusses what families and professionals can do to ensure effective services for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Introduction

How Can You Use this Document?

About the Author

Section 1: What is the Purpose of Early Intervention?

Section 2: Myths and Facts About Early Identification and Intervention

Section 3: What to Look for in an Early Intervention Program

Conclusion

References

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