A newly diagnosed hearing loss can be a challenge and deciding what to do for your child can be confusing. Our goal is to identify and include deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers, birth through age four, in our Family Education/Early Intervention Program. Services, free of charge, are available to all families with deaf and hard of hearing children who reside in Maryland.
Teachers travel to homes throughout the state to cultivate language skills with children, their family members and friends. Home visits are individualized to meet each child’s/family’s strengths and needs. Play-based activities are designed for children and families focused on emerging language and communication skills.
Support for auditory learning
Children who use cochlear implants or hearing aid devices and attend our classes are given opportunities to receive spoken language enrichment classes. These classes facilitate auditory skills and spoken language skills that reinforce concepts in the curriculum with sign language support. During the home visit, appropriate communication and language acquisition strategies are modeled with the children and family members before, during and after the implant process or upon receiving a hearing aid. Please follow the link from speech and hearing services to audiology for more information.
|Infant Play Group
Children from six months to two years can attend playgroup on Monday and Friday mornings. Hands-on activities that focus on emergining language and communication skills are provided.
Children who are two years of age can attend class up to five mornings a week. The class focuses primarily on learning through play and sensory experiences using ASL and English.
Children who are three years old can attend class up to five mornings a week. The class emphasizes concepts about the world around them, readiness for school and opportunities to interact cooperatively with peers in preparation for Pre-Kindergarten.
Families are invited to attend weekly meetings on Monday mornings at either campus (Frederick, MD or Columbia, MD). Information about child development, literacy, the deaf community, spoken English, audiology, the cochlear implant process and bilingual education are samples of what is shared with family members. Opportunities are provided for hearing and deaf families to interact with each other.
|American Sign Language Classes
Beginning sign language classes are offered, free of charge, at both the Frederick campus and the Columbia campus on Friday mornings to parents and the extended family. These classes support and enhance communication between the child and the family.
|Speech Therapy Services
Speech sessions are provided on an individual or group basis by a certified speech/language pathologist. These sessions reinforce the language concepts that are presented in the classroom, as well as articulation and auditory perception.
|Regional Parent Meetings and Special Events
Regional meetings are available to provide opportunities for families to interact with other families with deaf children in their local area. These experiences in their local community offer enjoyable activities for the entire family. At the same time, parents obtain information about a wide range of topics, such as deaf culture, child development, and communication. Special events take advantage of community resources and are provided through field trips, evening/weekend gatherings, and other social events in the deaf community. Families and children alike have the opportunity to learn about their world and community together.
|Collaboration with Service Providers
We work collaboratively with professionals from various public and private programs/agencies to support the family in promoting the development of the whole child. Public and private agencies include: local Infants and Toddlers Programs, hospitals, daycare providers, Head Start programs, public and private preschools, and local school systems.
| Our Early Learning Curriculum:
- is recognized by the Maryland State
Department of Education
- emphasizes early foundations in language, literacy and numeracy
- focuses on encouraging language and
communication skill development using ASL and English
- facilitates auditory, speech and language development
- has goals and concepts grounded in
language, social, cognitive, self-concept and motor skills.
- spirals into the Pre-Kindergarten Essential Curriculum
- State approved early learning curriculum
Our highly qualified staff include:
- Teachers with dual certification from the
Maryland State Department of Education and the Council on the Education for the Deaf
- Certified speech and language pathologists
- Clinical audiologist
- Educational Audiologist
For more information
Referrals and/or direct contact can be made to the Director at any time.
Main Office, Columbia Campus
Phone: 410.480.4500 (v/tty)
Main Office, Frederick Campus
Phone: 301.360.2000 (v/tty)