Early Intervention Network: Supporting Linguistic Competence for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Factor 5 - Planning for language and communication development should be individualized and systematically guided by ongoing assessment and monitoring.

Based on evidence, the recommended practices for this factor are:

Develop an individualized language and communication plan.

Develop an individualized, assessment-driven language and communication plan for each child that can be tied into Individualized Family Service Plan goals. This plan should include:

  • an individual profile summarizing integral background information (e.g., hearing levels, description of listening technologies and consistency of use) and language abilities in both visual and spoken modalities based on informal and formal language assessment results;
  • recommendations for language and communication approaches, strategies, and support services (based on assessment results and reflective of collaborative professional-family consensus on a child's language and communication goals); and
  • a systematic approach to monitor progress and to adjust approaches and strategies when progress is not being observed or critical variables have changed (e.g., change in hearing status, obtaining a cochlear implant ). JCIH (2013) recommends that progress be monitored every six months from birth to 36 months (and annually thereafter) through a protocol that includes the use of standardized, norm-referenced developmental evaluations for language (spoken and/or signed) and the modality of communication (auditory, visual, and/or augmentative) as well as social-emotional, cognitive, fine, and gross motor skills.