The New Jersey School for the Deaf
"For a Lifetime of Learning" 
Early Childhood Center
Parent/Infant Early Intervention Program

 


Lottery Executive Director Michellene Davis visits NJSD's Early Childhood Center


Mrs. Deborah Solimando
Early Intervention

Program Instructor

Telephone: 609-530-3185
TTY: 609-503-3185
FAX: 609-530-3187


Enrollment Information
Margaret Provost
Enrollment Coordinator



Telephone:609-530-3156
TTY:609-530-3156
FAX:609-530-5791

Early Intervention
Graduates


The first question a family usually asks themselves after a child is identified with hearing loss is, "What should we do for our baby?". Our Parent and Infant Early Intervention Program serves families with Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing children from birth to three years old. The program is a valuable source of information and training that enables families to become more comfortable in their role as parents, guardians, caregivers, or siblings of a child with hearing loss.  Families are active participants with the child in the program.

Parents, guardians, and caregivers have the opportunity to participate in weekly sign language instruction and support groups.  The program is provided by qualified and certified personnel, both hearing and deaf, trained to work with children with hearing loss.  Deaf adults as role models are an important part of the Parent Infant Program and are a great source of information and support for hearing parents.

Early identification and intervention for children with hearing loss is a vital part of academic and life success. Research has shown that there is a critical developmental period during which a child must learn language. Sign language is recognized as a bona fide language. Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing babies go through developmental phases when they "babble" in sign just as hearing babies do with sounds. It is crucial that a child with hearing loss begin to develop expressive and receptive language as soon as possible. The goal of our program is the development of language and communication skills for both parents and infants.

BIRTH TO TWO YEARS OLD

A certified teacher of the deaf provides individual services to every family as defined in the Individual Family Service Plan.  These services are provided in the home.  Families are instructed in hearing loss and its impact on  communication, hearing aid use and maintenance, cochlear implants, different methods of communication, and developmental milestones.  Family involvement, communication skills, and language development are emphasized.

TWO TO THREE YEARS OLD

A weekly individual session with the teacher is offered with the added opportunity for parents, guardians, or caregivers,  to participate with the child in small group activities twice a week. Auditory training, communication, language development, and speech production continue to be an integral part of the program. The addition of small group activities enable the child to participate in experiences in fine motor, gross motor and self-help development activities. The children develop readiness skills and through age appropriate stories, games and experiences, further expand their cognitive and language abilities .

Ongoing assessment and evaluation are also an important part of the process. In the small groups, the children have the opportunity to work individually with the teacher and speech therapist. The children interact with other Deaf and Hard- of-Hearing children and participate in group activities to practice the skills that prepares them for school. Families through observation, modeling, and participation in a variety of settings continue to develop their skills and become more confident about their child's future.

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