Early Intervention and Preschool Choices

Upon confirmation of your child’s hearing loss, the first decision to make is what early intervention service is going to be best for your family.

This is a critical period for language acquisition. The earlier the intervention and the younger the child is when diagnosis occurs, the better the outcome for language development.

The two models of deafness

With early testing, chances are that you have discovered your child’s hearing loss at a time of great change and much emotion, especially if your child is a newborn. At this turbulent time, you must weigh up lots of medical, technical and educational information.

You will discover that deafness exists within two models:

Medical Model
Cultural-Linguistic Model

These views are often polarised, leaving parents with an ‘either/or’ view of communication modes: either auditory-verbal (supported hearing and speech) or sign-visual.

If you want help navigating this system, please reach out to our team.

Hearing: it’s an individual experience

Research shows that best practice of early intervention involves an individualised approach considered within a full spectrum of options, ranging from auditory-verbal to sign-speech, and any combination of the above.

An individual approach can be designed to optimise age appropriate first language acquisition. This is why the HEARO philosophy is to support informed, shared decision-making within a family-centred approach.

Informed, shared decision-making within a family-centred approach creates the ideal environment for the development of a child with hearing loss. It sees the family unit as the focus of decision making, creates confident capable parents, and promotes better outcomes for the deaf or hard of hearing child.

The HEARO benefits

  1. Informed decision-making

    In this complex world, you want information that is accurate and balanced to enable you to evaluate what is best for your family. With access to unbiased information, you can consider your own values and beliefs in the context of what you are willing and able to do to achieve child-centred goals.
  2. Shared decision-making

    Traditionally decision making has been driven by the expert professional (medical and educational) leading the parent. However, the HEARO approach is based on shared decision-making, involving a collaborative partnership between parent and professional. Both perspectives are equally valuable in making decisions about a child.
  3. Family-centred approach

    A family-centred approach recognises parents as the most important agents of change and empowerment for their children. HEARO recognises that capable and involved parents will create better outcomes for their children who grow up to be more confident young adults.

How we help

Family Support

Providing tailored support for every stage of your child’s unique communication journey

Parent to Parent Mentor Service

A unique program that pairs new parents of children with hearing loss with more experienced parents

Useful links

Here are some useful links to help you navigate the early intervention phase of your journey:

Further information

At HEARO, we’re always looking for ways to continuously improve our service.

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