Early identification and intervention are key factors in making the most of auditory and speech potential for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Early childhood is a critical period for language development. The first 6 months may be the most significant. Current research findings confirm that the language skills of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are much better when intervention is initiated before 6 months of age. When babies are diagnosed early, fit with appropriate amplification and participate in quality intervention services they have the foundation to reach their maximum potential. The sky is the limit!
The parent coaching program at The Children's Cochlear Implant Center at UNC offers an excellent opportunity for the families of young children who are identified with hearing loss at an early age. Family members are provided with guidance in fostering language development as early as possible, in order to prepare the child to meet his or her full potential.
Parents receive counseling, education and guidance through individual one-on-one Parent Participation Sessions emphasizing the acquisition of spoken language skills through listening. Parents, children, and therapists meet on a regular basis to learn,through play, techniques and strategies that promote listening and speaking. Additionally, through a Family Learning Center and resource library, parents and caregivers learn to incorporate language development into daily activities.