Picking Educational Programs

Often parents want to know what the best program is, or whether a particular program is better than another one. The only way to make these kinds of judgments is by seeing what the program is like. Visit a variety of educational programs. Some questions you may want to answer as you visit programs are:

Is this program specifically designed to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children, or is it a generic program?
Generally a specialized program will be more likely to meet your child’s needs.

Is it a home-based program, a center-based program, or a combination of the two?
Both home-based and center-based programs have advantages. Visit one or more programs of each type and see for yourself what those advantages are.

How well do the staff and children communicate?
Since the area of communication can be significantly impacted by hearing loss, communication skills should be at the center of any program.

How much family support is available?
This could be in the form of information about assistive technology, provision of sign language classes, counseling, or any other type of support.

Ask lots of questions

This is all new to you and there is a lot to know.

Review each suggestion you receive carefully

Do you fully understand what is being recommended, or do you need further information? Do you know what the positives and the negatives are? Does it sound like something that will work for you and your family?

No decision needs to be forever

Support what is working for your child and modify or eliminate what is not working. The goal should be optimum outcomes, not adhering to a particular ideology.

Finally …

Love and value your child for the wonder that they are.