A child is never too young for communication therapy
Having your child diagnosed with a hearing loss can be a confusing process for parents. Where do you start? How do you go about finding the best advice to help you make good decisions? If you have questions, how can you get them answered?
Communication group therapy for babies
At CHC’s Shelley and Steven Einhorn Communication Center
Because CHC kids get more than the technical skills of listening and speaking with hearing loss from their clinicians. Our program emphasizes interpersonal skills, helping your child pick up all the incidental learning that children who have to work to hear often miss.
And even though your child may be too young to “engage” with other babies in their group, the purpose is to support you, as well!
When you’re raising a child with hearing loss, knowing other parents facing the same daily efforts as you boosts your strength and your sanity. It’s also a time for clinicians to answer parents’ questions and advise on at-home therapy work.
Early days hearing aid fitting coordination
We have fit our littlest clients with amplification as early as six weeks! Amplification stimulates a deaf baby’s auditory nerves, preparing the way to increase the benefits hearing technology provides throughout his or her life.
What to expect
For most children, we aim to foster communication skills sufficient to interact and learn in a hearing classroom by preschool. CHC’s success rate for children in its auditory-oral program is 90%.
When parents choose an auditory-oral approach, extensive speech and language input is necessary, and this takes time. However, exactly when the child will start to talk depends upon the child, the degree of hearing loss, the family’s support system, the child’s age when the hearing loss was identified and amplification provided, and the gain received from the amplification. A child who is deaf or hard of hearing also learns to read lips and using other verbal and visual cues to understand what others are saying.
Pointers for parents
Early therapy for your baby will focus on auditory and language stimulation. When with the baby, remember that communication is not just a science; it is an “A.R.T.” Follow these simple guidelines:
Auditory stimulation is key:
- Present auditory stimulation first to give your baby a chance to hear something before bringing the sound into his or her line of sight.
- Remember to say words and phrases over and over so that your baby has practice hearing and identifying familiar sounds.
Talk, Talk, Talk:
- Remember to talk to your baby, even if you feel that he or she may not be responding at this time. Your baby will respond to your facial expressions and it is important that you and your baby develop a bond that will last a lifetime.
Parent involvement is also critical to the process. Involving siblings is beneficial to your baby as an older sibling can act as a “mini-model” of speech and language. The participation of siblings will also help to make them feel special and included in the therapy.
Welcome to the CHC family
After you’ve investigated various center-based program options, we hope you choose the Center for Hearing and Communication. If you do, welcome! You will find opportunities to meet with other families, participate in parenting and family events, and find an extended family at CHC comprised of caring professionals and like-minded parents where services can be obtained over a lifetime.
Once on program, we ask you to commit to the following:
Attendance – CHC’s pediatric program is family-based, requiring participation from parents, extended family members and care-givers.
- Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Children with fevers, rashes or who are ill should not attend session.
- Please try to arrive on time to allow for the full benefit of a session.
Please do notify of absences in advance of a session and your clinician will do the same. Make up sessions (for illness only and not family vacation) may be able to take place but must be within a current IFSP.
Information Sharing – When families obtain services at an outside facility, the results from these evaluations must be sent to the primary audiologist and the center-based speech language pathologist at the Center for Hearing and Communication. It is the responsibility of the parent/s to ensure test results are available to the CHC primary audiologist.
Please adhere to the recommended schedule of audiology visits and communication therapy sessions. These ongoing services are critical successful outcomes.
For more information about auditory habilitation services for babies, please contact Dorene Watkins at (917) 305-7881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.