Presentation on theme: "Parent Perspectives on EHDI and Communication Choices 2 nd National EHDI Conference Debbie Hofmeister February 26, 2003."— Presentation transcript:
Parent Perspectives on EHDI and Communication Choices 2 nd National EHDI Conference Debbie Hofmeister February 26, 2003
Matthew Arrived February 1998 Passed Universal Newborn Hearing Screening At 9 months, Parents started to notice that Matthew did not respond to voices.
Pediatrician and ENT performed the Clap Test and assured parents that Matthew could hear. After ear tubes and several tests, it was confirmed that Matthew had a profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in both ears – Matthew was 18 months old. Audiologist suggested that we consider a cochlear implant or sign language. We tried hearing aids for 6 months with Matthew but they did not help him.
Exploring Our Options Babies Cant Wait entered the scene. They completed several assessments but did not have anyone that could work with Matthew that had experience with hearing impairments. We were introduced to the controversy Sign Language versus Oral Methods. American Sign Language versus Signed English. Cochlear Implant versus hearing aids.
What did we choose? Ga. PINES – weekly visits from a teacher of children with hearing impairments Private speech therapist with a lot of experience with children with hearing impairments (3 - 4 times/week) Opportunity to talk with other parents on a regular basis
Cochlear Implant Sept. 21, 2000 Matthew was implanted 1 year after diagnosis (he was 2 ½ years old). At that time, he had a sign language vocabulary of 150 – 200 signs.
To Sign or not to Sign Professionals recommended that we stop signing with Matthew if wanted him to be oral and benefit from the implant. Grateful that we were finally able to communicate with Matthew, we chose to continue signing while emphasizing and working on oral development.
What Happened? Matthew was able to make good progress using total communication. As his oral vocabulary increased, his use of sign language decreased. He simultaneously signed and spoke for about 9 months post-implant. Currently, Matthew rarely uses sign language expressively. We sign to him whenever the implant is off.
Currently, Matthew attends a church preschool 4 days a week. He also has speech therapy 2 hours each week. He just turned 5 and will start kindergarten in August.
What was helpful? Professionals who have experience with children who have hearing impairments Objective Information about communication options The right to choose the communication option that was best for my child Support from other families