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Questions You May Want to Ask YourChild’s Early Intervention Team


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Early intervention is a program for children from birth to 3 years of age who have a developmental delay. Some states also provide services for children who are “at risk” for developmental delay. Children with hearing loss typically need early intervention services. An early interventionist, a specialist who works with infants and toddlers, will help identify your child’s needs and create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan will be used to provide your child with the services he or she needs.

Early intervention services support families to help their children reach their full potential.

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Wright’s Law Game Plan: Smart IEP’s ~ Pete Wright and Pam Wright

Diane writes: “Help! I need good IEP goals and objectives!”

I know my son’s IEP is inadequate. The school’s IEP goal for him is “Commitment to academic success.” If “Commitment to academic success” is not an appropriate goal, what should I propose in its place? 

I need to find good IEPs to help me construct a model. How are measurable goals defined? Can you give me an example of a well-written IEP?

Mary writes: “Help! I need good IEP goals and objectives!”

I am a first year special education teacher. I need to see some good IEP goals. I haven’t had enough experience with this and need to feel more secure in this area.

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Do Children with Mild and Unilateral Hearing Loss Need Early Intervention? ~ Ann Cornely

Do Children with Mild and Unilateral Hearing Loss Need Early Intervention? 

Hearing loss, of any type or degree that occurs in infancy or childhood, can interfere with the development of a child’s spoken language, reading, writing and academic performance. Research has noted that a hearing loss that has not been managed can cause a child to be one grade level behind. Hearing loss can be described as an invisible filter that distorts, smears     and/or eliminates sounds, especially from a distance…even a short distance.  The negative effects of hearing loss may be apparent but the hearing loss is often invisible and can be easily ignored or underestimated.

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How to Prevent and Stop Cyber-Bullying by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower

Bullying is bullying, whether in cyberspace or in person. The following eight steps are described in Kidpower’s bullying solutions book,  Bullying – What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe.

1) Discuss what cyberbullying is and the harm it does with older children and teens

Ask kids who are actively using technology for communication what they already know about cyber-bullying. They usually have a lot of information and strong ideas.  Ask if this has ever happened to them or anyone they know. Make sure that the young people in your life know that:

  • Cyber-bullying means using computers, cell phones, and other technology to hurt, scare, or embarrass other people.
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Preparing Children for More Independence ~ Irene van der Zande

Parents often struggle with the question, “How can I give my child more independence while keeping her or him safe?” Instead of taking an “all-or-nothing” approach to having children do different activities without adult supervision, Kidpower recommends the following five-step plan.

Step 1. Make realistic assessments about your child in each situation.

Step 2. As a family, learn and practice “People Safety” skills, which are skills to help people be emotionally and physically safe with people everywhere they go. Practice these skills together.

Step 3. Co-pilot with your child to field-test the use of these skills in the real world.

Step 4.

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CART Case Supports Students

A recent court case provided a victory for students who are deaf and hard of hearing to gain access to Computer-Assisted Realtime Transcription (CART) as an accommodation in mainstream K-12 classrooms. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiff in K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District  (No. 11-56259) that school districts must consider student’s request for CART. AG Bell filed an amicus brief in the case in support of K.M., a high school student who is deaf and uses cochlear implants and speechreading to communicate.
In the case, the Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment against K.M.

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It Takes a Village: An IEP Experiment ~ Shelly Cates, Kylie Sharp, Melissa Cohen

Have you ever wondered what  it would be like to be a fly on the wall of another family’s Individual  Educational Plan (IEP) meeting? Have you ever wished you knew what they were  asking for, what they were getting, what worked, and what fell flat? Three families  decided to stop wondering and ask out loud. What happened was a marvelous  example of cooperation that benefited everyone.

This is the story of three  kindergarten students in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program.  These three children; two girls and one boy, are as unique as three kids can  be, each with different levels of hearing loss and different specific needs. 

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Deaf/HH Plus: Supporting the Whole Child ~ Dinah Beams, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind

The term “deaf plus” is a reference to the child’s hearing  loss combined with other conditions. The need is great; according to the  Gallaudet Research Institute (November 2008) school districts reported that  approximately 40% of the students nationwide have a condition in addition to  deafness. These issues are varied including: vision, developmental delay,  specific learning disability, motor issues, ADD/ADHD, cognitive, emotional, and  autism spectrum disorders. One area of development impacts another which often  makes it difficult to tease out exactly what is happening for the child and how  learning is being impacted. For example, speech perception skills may be  further impacted by cognitive delays or sign development may be impacted by  motor issues.

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Preferential Seating: What Does it Mean? ~ Jeannene Evanstad

I remember walking into my son Brian’s second grade  class five years ago to observe group writing. The kids all sat on the floor  and the teacher wrote on an easel using the students input. Brian was in the  front row because that’s where the Deaf/hh students sat.  I observed him trying to watch three things  at once – the teacher, the board she was writing on, and the interpreter when  he missed what the teacher or another student said.  His head was in constant motion moving back  and forth. It took me no more than a minute to realize that sitting in the  front row was not preferential seating in this circumstance.

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Cognition in the Classroom: The Academic and Social Implications~ Leeanne Seaver

Social isolation is one of the biggest fears families have for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Given the low incidence of deafness or hearing loss, many d/hh kids find themselves alone or among a small minority of students in a public school setting. What is the impact of a hearing loss on the child in that situation? What should parents and professionals alike be attending to when developing the child’s IEP to make sure that social learning and social inclusion are addressed? Dr. Brenda Schick, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, in the department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, has studied this topic extensively and is preparing to publish a paper on “Cognition in the Classroom.” She provided Hands & Voices with this interview on her research and insight on essential academic and social considerations for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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