East Shore's program in Kirtland, Ohio was very helpful and I received all of the information that I expected and asked for. I would change the way parents enter into program itself though. For example, Christina was diagnosed in the summer and it was difficult to find any type of contact when a parent is most devastated, also information on deaf community would have been helpful.
When parents first learn that their child is hearing impaired, I think it would be most helpful to have someone spend several hours (or several meetings) explaining the types of hearing losses (middle, sensorineural, etc.), the roles of audiologist, speech therapist, speech pathologist, etc. I would like to have clearly understood the clinical reports, cochlear implants. Essentially, I would like to have had someone give a technical overview of what the future would hold for our care for Jordan as a deaf child. I didn't identify this need at the time, or I would have asked.
I have been receiving this information: feedback on how my child is doing, help and ideas to help him learn new skills or specific ways to teach him.
We believe the biggest problem with early intervention is that none of the professional help we received early on mentioned speech therapy. We looked into it because it was on paper work from BCMH (Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps). We believe that our daughter has gained so much help from the speech therapist we take her to, we can not imagine a hearing impaired child with a severe loss not getting some additional speech therapy. Going to speech therapy with our daughter has also really helped us learn how to be better teachers to our child.
2. What information have you found useful?
Sign Language was most helpful. Christina was frustrated until we started singing with her, also having our Parent Advisor, Lori, to talk to just knowing she was there when I needed her!
Help with sing language, resource lists.
Ideas for eating, drinking from a cup, to help his fine motor skills, sings, to decrease thrust of legs.
We found all of the suggested methods of play and interaction very useful. Information on repeating; keeping background noise down; talking slow; SPICE program; FM systems; sign language; and auditory training are just some of the things I have really needed to know.
3. What information have you come to value?
Information on schools, the different programs available.
Help with sign language, resource lists.
I was very pleased with our team of early intervention helpers in that they all would always look into and find out more about whatever topic I wanted to know about.
4. What other suggestions do you have for an effective education for your child?
I wouldn't have changed any of East Shore's programs in Ohio. The only thing is now that Christina is in Wickliffe's program in Ohio, I wish she had more deaf children in her class with her.
At this time it is not that important because I am home with my son after school. But I may not always be able to do that. If I had to send my son to childcare or latchkey after school, I would like to know that someone can effectively communicate with him - someone he trusts and likes as a caregiver. In a bigger scope, I would like to suggest that the Counties' Departments of MRDD implement and emphasize the use of sign language in schools like Broadmoor. I think a child who is deaf is better in a school geared for hearing impairments (usually), but there are many individuals who are nonverbal, or whose speech is inaudible. Sign Language used constantly might greatly facilitate their learning, and make them feel more connected to other people.
Both Early Intervention and SKI*HI programs are excellent and have been very helpful and informative. Many great ideas, suggestions, can help to implement to give Jacob good stimulation and playful learning situations.
IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION
SPEECH STIMULATION AND AUDITORY AWARENESS
ELEMENTS OF AN EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM