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For Children with Hearing Differences


Created through a partnership of parents and professionals

Sponsored by Florida Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

For Early Interventionists

Your client has been identified as a person with a hearing difference. This plan includes best practices for young children with hearing loss. This is part of a shared plan of care for the family and their primary professional support system. 


Your Role:

  • Administer assessments

  • Assist parents with resources

  • Caring for hearing technology

  • Learning a new language (ASL) or language system (Cued Speech)

  • Help the family organize their environment to maximize visual exposure and language input

  • Observe, teach, demonstrate, and track skills needed

  • Use a chart to track unique strategies and plans

Tips to get you started:

  • Encourage your client to keep notes of their questions or concerns to share during their child’s appointments.

  • Help your client create a binder to collect their child’s healthcare information, recommendations, and referrals.

  • The details matter. Know what you don’t know.

  • Conduct a self-inventory to be confident that you are the right provider to support this family given their unique needs.

  • Educate yourself and the family you are supporting, on Florida’s specific referral streams- (deaf-blind qualify for ABA, assistive tech, etc)

  • Identify the family’s primary concern(s)

Questions they may have:

  • What is Early Intervention and why do we need it?

  • Where can we learn more about different ways to communicate with the baby?

  • I don’t expect my baby to start talking yet, so why does my baby need speech therapy?

  • What are language milestones?

  • How much can my baby hear?

  • What recommended follow-up appointments should we have scheduled?

  • How can I connect with other parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing?

  • What happens when my baby turns 3?

  • Is there money available to get help to pay for hearing aids or other technology and services?

Answers you can provide:

  • Explain the importance of early intervention, speech, and other therapies for children with hearing differences and the consequences of waiting. *Use the ‘Timelines for Success’ worksheet in the Parent Edition.

  • Link to unbiased information about communication modalities *Use the ‘Communication Build Language’ visual in the Parent Edition.

  • Provide a language development checklist to review skills that are needed for the child’s communication modality. Discuss the connection between hearing, early language, and speech development.

  • Review audiology results with the family

  • Help the family organize their upcoming appointments to make sure nothing is missing – remember, parents have a larger workload than they likely expected! *Use the Roadmap worksheet and the ‘Branches of Support Visual’ in the Parent Edition.

  • Connect the family with experienced parents who have been on a similar journey or deaf adults for guidance through the Parent Empowerment Program.

  • Provide a clear understanding of Florida’s IFSP and IEP processes. Even if the family opts for private therapy, they will benefit from the help of Early Interventionists when the time comes to transition into preschool.

  • Insurance denials, payers of last resort

Read the National Center on Deaf-Blindness "Risk List for Combined Vision and Hearing Loss in Infants and Toddlers Associated Etiologies with Corresponding ICD-10 Codes"
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