It is a lot of work to advocate for your deaf child. It is important to make the right decisions about your child’s medical treatment and education with your medical team now, and to follow through with the plan you make despite potential resistance from other non-medical professionals involved in your child’s care plan. The consequences of not following through now cannot be undone later so don’t compromise!
There is a lot of work to do to keep doctor and speech therapy appointments, to keep hearing aid or cochlear implant equipment working, and even financial challenges. Do not make the mistake of sending your child to a Deaf signing school because the signing day care offered in preparation for Deaf school is free. You have the right under the IDEA and IEP rules to have assistance with all of these struggles by requesting an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) and an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive in mainstream society. AG Bell is the premier nonprofit organization serving the oral deaf and hard of hearing community.
Choices Delaware (short for Making Language CHOICES Available to Delaware Families of Children with Hearing Loss) is a grassroots organization consisting of a core project team of individuals with a range of expertise in language development, hearing loss, and education. They have had a national impact on the education of children with hearing loss by providing clear information to families and to advocacy organizations alike.