When you have discovered your child is deaf, you may hear the words ‘early intervention’ and wonder what this means. In this case, it’s to deal with your child’s deafness from a very young age.
You may be feeling pressured or unsure of what services to avail of; we would recommend that you do as much research as possible to help you make informed decisions about your child’s future. This may be with regard to assistive technology, educational development, etc.
Why intervene early?
Early intervention can mean that appropriate support can be given to ensure that your child reaches its maximum potential. Early intervention will;
- enhance the child’s development
- increase greater language and literacy skills
- raise general academic achievement
- help parents and their children understand each other
Effective early intervention can enhance learning especially during the child’s early years.
People Who Can Help
A Deaf Person – They can tell you of their experience with early intervention services and what it was like for them.
Irish Sign Language Teacher – They can teach you and your child Irish Sign Language (ISL), so that you can communicate with each other. This will also enrich your child’s development.
Audiologist – They will keep track of your child’s hearing levels, fit your child’s hearing aid and can answer questions you may have with regard to their hearing loss.
Speech & Language Therapist – They will give speech therapy classes if they are needed.
Special Educational Needs Organisers – The role of the SENO ensures that a child with special educational needs receives the supports they are entitled to.
Parents Support Organisations – There are organisations who offer parent-to-parent support.
Visiting Teacher Service – They will work with pre-school children to provide guidance for parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children.