Early Beginnings for Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children:Myths and Facts of Early Intervention and Guidelines for Effective Services
Full paper in PDF format (25 pages, 311KB)
Early identification of a hearing loss is only the beginning for families with infants with a hearing loss. Participation in a quality early intervention program soon after a baby's hearing loss is identified is the next important step. For many families, however, finding a good program is not easy and families can be perplexed about what components make a program effective. Misconceptions among practitioners and policy makers can hinder the progress that children and families should expect if provided effective early intervention services.
The knowledge about early identification and early intervention includes:
- early identification without early intervention may be detrimental to the family and child;
- early quality intervention promotes age-appropriate communication and language growth in many children;
- children benefit from early identification and effective early intervention regardless of individual differences;
- early intervention services must be be flexible to meet individual situations, respond to changes in family priorities, and responsive to ways families find most helpful;
- no single communication approach works for all children;
- young children and families benefit from services provided by specialists and in settings that provide services for other young children with a hearing loss and their families; and
- qualified personnel with specialized preparation are essential for providing appropriate services and achieving successful outcomes for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.
This document was developed to help clarify some of the misunderstandings regarding early intervention and identification so that families and service providers can join together to ensure the best early start for young children with a hearing loss and their families.
Early Beginnings Topic List