Boys Town National Research Hospital’s educational programs have provided state-of-the-art learning experiences for families and their children for nearly three decades. The primary goal of the Hospital’s educational programs is to promote optimal development of every child who is deaf or hard of hearing. This goal is achieved through the following guiding principles:
- Respect that the child with hearing loss is, first and foremost, a child whose individual nature, strengths and learning style are to be celebrated.
- Honor each family’s unique beliefs, traditions and strengths as it is the family’s right to incorporate these values into their decisions for their child.
- Empower the family by providing unbiased and up-to-date information to assist the family in promoting optimal social, emotional and educational development in their child.
- Establish effective partnerships with families and their school districts to enhance the child’s advancement through the academic years.
Early Intervention Services are provided in the home or daycare center for children with hearing loss ages birth to 3 years. These visits are provided through contractual agreements with the child’s school district and range in frequency depending on the child’s need and the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). Boys Town National Research Hospital’s Home-Based Early Interventionists partner with families to provide services promoting each child’s optimal development. Interventionists are knowledgeable about the variety of ways children with hearing loss learn to communicate. Families are provided with opportunities to explore auditory-oral and sign-based communication options for their child.
The Early Intervention Program:
- Emphasizes spoken language and listening development using family-centered practice strategies
- Provides visual support for children as needed, using sign language and/or other visual approaches
- Facilitates decisions regarding communication options for the child
- Provides education and support regarding hearing loss, listening technology and listening skill development (sign language instruction is provided for families choosing to incorporate it into their child’s early intervention program)
- Collaborates with audiologists to ensure appropriate fit and benefit from listening technology
- Provides ongoing monitoring of listening and language development through annual assessment practices
- Facilitates timely referrals when listening, language and learning are not progressing as expected
- Supports daycare professionals in their knowledge of how to best meet the needs of the child with the hearing loss
- Assists with toddler transition to preschool services