DEIP: The Diagnostic Early Intervention Program
Boys Town National Research Hospital
555 N. 30th Street
Omaha, NE 68131
Contacts: Mary Pat Moeller
BCDC: Boston Center for Deaf Children
300 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
Contact: Terell Clark
VIP: The Visiting Infant and Parent Program
The Clarke School for the Deaf
Harriet Smith Short Center
Round Hill Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Contact: Janice Gatty
Parent Infant, Preschool, Kindergarten
Contact: Debra Cushner
(202) 651-5101 fax
As soon as a referral is made a coordinator should call parents and ask to set up an appointment. (Thompson, 1994)
The way in which a d/Deaf infant or toddler is assessed should be carefully considered. Bob Hoffmeister states, "The term 'evaluation' especially when applied to Deaf children is fraught with real dangerous problems". The problem that he focuses on is the "language problem", more specifically,
The staff of the program should be from a variety of specialties including, a teacher of the deaf that is knowledgeable about speech, hearing, language, parent counseling and early childhood, an audiologist, a language evaluator, speech language pathologist, psychologist, parent/ professional and deaf/ Deaf adults (Gatty, 1994). The staff should address the global needs of the family. They should also share common beliefs and premises for the program (Luterman, 1994). Transdisciplinary staffing allows for an exchange of information, skills and knowledge across disciplines. It makes the family an "integral" part of the assessment process. "It represents the future of early intervention and is a model that is highly successful" (Rossetti, 1996).
Partnerships evolve when parents are involved in activities such as the family assessment and giving them the control to decide with what they need help. (Thompson, 1994). In addition, allow the parents to take part in choosing the option for their child. This is a discovery process where they can "observe successes and discover what approaches allow them to interact with their child in a manner they find comfortable" (Moeller & Condon, 1994).
Experienced professionals to answer questions and offer information to parents. (T. Balint, personal communication, October 16, 1997).
Parents entering early intervention services rarely have a knowledge base about deafness. Most parents have never met a deaf person before and therefore need to be introduced to the d/Deaf world. Early Intervention programs should acquaint parents with successful d/Deaf adults in order to help them "understand how we [Deaf adults] deal with our deafness. We provide many more options and insights than say, a medical doctor. A doctor will usually just give a pathological approach on how to deal with being deaf. A deaf person will give a holistic approach... much more complete" (M. Droslburgh, personal communication, August 3, 1997).
Cindy Norwood (personal communication, July 10, 1997 ) stated her perspective on parent to parent support. She said that the best parent supporters are those that are willing to put aside their own feelings/ needs in order to help someone else. She also stated that parent led support groups are best when the parent advisor is trained and are held in an informal setting.
Visits should be at home in the natural environment, but there should be a center base component for play groups, resource library, parent groups etc. (Thompson, 1994)