Early Intervention Network: Supporting Linguistic Competence for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Factor 2- A collaborative, ongoing process should be used to explore modalities, technologies, and strategies to support the development of linguistic competence.

Based on evidence, the recommended practices for this factor are:

Use a collaborative Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process to support development of linguistic competence.

Use a collaborative, dynamic, family-centered, assessment-driven process to explore language and communication approaches and assistive technologies that:

  • is guided by a service coordinator to streamline the implementation of the IFSP process and coordination of agencies and service providers;
  • consists of practitioners, including but not limited to, an audiologist, teacher and/or early interventionist, speech-language pathologist, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and representatives of family-to-family support networks;
  • includes professionals specially trained to work with deaf and hard of hearing children and their families from the first point of entry into the early intervention system;
  • educates families so they can make informed choices about assistive technologies and strategies to facilitate linguistic competence;
  • is individualized to address the characteristics and needs of each child and family;
  • acknowledges and plans for the needs of children across a continuum of auditory access (e.g., visual learners, auditory learners, learners who benefit from both modalities);
  • utilizes family resources to neutrally discuss the benefits of various language and communication approaches and methodologies under consideration (JCIH, 2013, recommends incorporating a mechanism where family resources are reviewed by state/territory EHDI committees or another designated body, for example, parent organizations or a professional committee); and
  • monitors and modifies technologies, strategies, and approaches as necessary on the basis of a child's rate of progress in acquiring language and communication skills.