Questions to ask about communicating with your child and needed intervention

  1. What are my choices for communicating with my child? [LEARN MORE]
  2. When should I begin early intervention or speech or other therapy? What is available in my area? [LEARN MORE]

Keep in mind:
  • The way you decide to communicate with your child will depend on a number of things, including
    • the degree of your child’s hearing loss
    • age when the hearing loss started
    • age when hearing aids were first used
    • your family’s culture, goals, and priorities
  • The decision about which way to communicate (modality) is based on your baby’s and family’s needs.
  • The modalities most often used in the United States include
    • listening and spoken language (aka, auditory-verbal or auditory-oral)
    • cued speech or cued language
    • American Sign Language (ASL)
    • total communication (talking while signing)
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Keep in mind:
  • Children with a hearing loss who begin services early may be able to develop language (spoken and/or signed) on a par with their hearing peers.
  • There is no age requirement to start speech and language services—generally, the earlier, the better.
  • If a hearing loss is detected in your child, early intervention is recommended to promote language (speech and/or signed, depending on family choices) and cognitive development.
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) ensures that children who qualify for early intervention (birth–age 3) or school-age (ages 3–21 years) services in their state receive them. Part C of IDEA is the early intervention program for infants and toddlers who have, or are at risk for, a developmental delay or have an established condition that is likely to lead to a delay. Part B of IDEA is the program for older children. These two programs cover most children with hearing loss, but each state has its own eligibility requirements.
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References:
  • Pittman, A.L., Lewis, D.E., Hoover, B.M., et al. (2005). Rapid word-learning in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired children: Effects of age, receptive vocabulary, and high-frequency amplification. Ear and Hearing, 26, 619–629.
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