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Childhood Hearing Loss: Intervention and Parent Choice

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management

Presented by: Terry E. Foust, AuD. CCC-A/SLP, FAAA and Rene Averitt-Sanzone, MS

August 21st, 2018 at 12 noon MT

Title: “Childhood Hearing Loss: Individualized Intervention and Parent Choice”

What are your hopes and dreams for your child and family and how can you access the supports and services you need to achieve these?

For professionals supporting families of children who are hard-of-hearing or deaf, or other special needs recognized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), that question serves as the touchstone for helping families to actively participate in the development of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP’s), for children birth to 3 years of age, and Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s), for children 3 years of age and older.  The importance of individualization of supports and services is underscored by the recognition that children who are hard of hearing or deaf represent a diverse population in nearly every way: culturally, racially, linguistically, socio-economically, geographically as well as with respect to type, severity and family history. All of these factors inform the way families choose to address their unique needs and goals. Reflecting the importance of diversity within special needs populations, IDEA stipulates that supports and services be individualized and not delivered categorically based on any given condition. Hence, some families choose an approach that emphasizes visual communication (sign language) while others choose an approach that emphasizes listening and spoken language. Families may choose a combination. Regardless, the quality of intervention and the parent's capacity to model language and engage in rich communication with the child are perhaps the most important factors in determining the success of a child with hearing loss.

Most families of children with a hearing status are faced with a steep learning curve as they explore options and make decisions regarding intervention, language and communication while simultaneously factoring their individual life circumstances and available resources. The information families receive is sometimes accompanied by strong opinions and beliefs held by professionals, other parents of children with hearing loss, adults who are hard of hearing or deaf or even the general public. The individuals supporting families through this ongoing learning and decision-making process can play an important role in helping families access current, comprehensive information, identifying what supports and service options are available to the family, and navigating any opinions or biases that may be blended with the information they are receiving.  Fortunately, one of the rights of children and families served under IDEA is that they have the opportunity to make decisions for their child and to re-evaluate their individualized service and educational program as often as necessary, allowing everyone involved to learn, evolve over time and to adapt in ways that will lead to the best outcomes for the child and family.
This webinar will help participants understand more fully the diversity of the population of children who are hard-of-hearing or deaf, the systems that exist that contribute to the provision of early identification and early intervention, the various communication/educational intervention options for identified children and some of the opinions families are likely to encounter as they explore various options. Strategies will be discussed for how to honor and activate parents as the key decision-makers for their child and to ensure that their services are truly individualized and reflective of their hopes and dreams for their child and family.
Learning Objectives:
This webinar is intended for anyone engaged in providing support and/or services to children who are hard-of-hearing or deaf and their families as well as the families themselves.
After attending the webinar, participants will be able to:
1.   Describe the diversity of the hard-of-hearing and deaf population and its relevance to individualized service and educational plans and programs.
2.    Describe the incidence of hearing loss during early childhood and the importance of ongoing screening.
3.   Describe intervention options.
4.   Describe how parent choice and decision making can be supported.
5.   Describe how to access resources to support parents' and professionals’ need for information.

Terry Foust is a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Certified Audiologist/Speech-Language Pathologist (American Speech Language Hearing Association), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.  Terry is a Senior Executive with Intermountain Healthcare leading their community efforts to assist with serving at-risk, low income, uninsured, and homeless populations.  As an audiologist Dr. Foust has implemented and directed large newborn hearing screening programs in Utah and Idaho and has served as a consultant on the development of national screening programs throughout the US, Ghana (Africa), Costa Rica, Egypt, India and, most recently, in the nation of Georgia.  Aside from his professional experience Terry is the son-in-law of Deaf parents and grandfather to a child who is deaf.

Rene Averitt-Sanzone is the Executive Director at Parents’ Place of Maryland which serves as Maryland’s Parent Training and Information Center and Family-to-Family Health Information Center that provides resources, support, and information for parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. Previously, Rene worked as the Regional Technical Assistance Co-Director for the Office of Special Education Programs funded parent center in the mid-south region.   Rene has held a variety of roles in the field of special education – parent educator, early childhood behavior specialist, evaluator, and Charter School administrator.  Rene has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Organizational Change Management.   Rene’s most important role is being a parent to two grown daughters who are deaf.

Once you have submitted the registration information, a confirmation email will be sent to your email address with additional webinar participation/ login information. Please contact Mandy McClellan if you have not received a confirmation email two days prior to the webinar.