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COVID-19 Update: Home visits and in person services may be impacted by COVID-19.  Your local Early Start coordinator should discuss safe options such as video meetings.  Call a doctor if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.  For more information go to covid19.ca.gov
Dear Parents, 
You and your family are starting on what might be unexpected, but an exciting journey, with your child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. With our resources, mentoring and coaching we will support you so that your child has the earliest possible access to language development and communication.
We understand that you may be experiencing many different emotions We believe that families who are involved and knowledgable are the key to creating a successful future for ALL children.  We can assure you that your child will grow up to become a productive, independent member of society. 
You are not alone. We are here to help you! 
Lead-K Family Services is here for you and your family. 
Infants should have their first hearing screening by 1 month of age.  Usually this happens in the hospital, soon after birth.  Infants that do not respond clearly to the hearing screening are referred for further testing with an audiologist.  The follow up hearing evaluation should be scheduled as soon as possible. 
By 3 months, infants that are referred for further testing should have a hearing evaluation by an audiologist.  This testing should result in an infant clearly being identified as either having regular hearing or as deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing amplification (hearing aids) may be prescribed at this time. 
Families with deaf or hard of hearing infants should be enrolled in their local early intervention (EI) services by 6 months of age. An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) should be created with their Local Education Agency. The family will then receive expert support through home visits that focus on language development. 

Hearing Levels

Babies identified through newborn hearing screening

include those with mild, moderate, severe, and profound hearing levels. Deaf and Hard of Hearing includes those with microtia, atresia, auditory neuropathy and those who use hearing amplification such as cochlear implants and hearing aids. read more

Anaya

Zee

Dakota

Amaris

Shaina

Bradley

Deaf & HH
Children

Anaya

Anaya is a 22-month-old girl who loves to cook with her mom – especially cookies! She also loves gardening and watching things grow.

Zee

Zee is a 10-year-old who hopes to become a professional actress or a photographer when they grow up.

Dakota

Dakota is a 10-year-old girl who performs with a children’s circus in her spare time!

Amaris

Amaris is an 11-year-old honor student who loves to swim with the dolphins!

Shaina

Shaina is working on a graduate degree in organic chemistry.

Bradley

Bradley excelled in all sports in high school.

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Strengthening Families

We Empower Parents of Deaf/HH Children

We provide comprehensive information and awareness through mentoring, networking, and resources. We honor families' relationships with their child and promote language and communication opportunities. Families with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (HH) children  are connected to each other and to Deaf/HH adults so that families can envision positive outcomes for their child. 

The Coping Process

ACCEPTANCE TO CELEBRATION

The birth of a baby is a wonderful reason for celebration. Ninety-five percent of babies who have been identified as Deaf or Hard of Hearing are born to hearing parents. Some parents may be unsure of what to do and what to expect for the future.

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    Acceptance

    As you gain experience you will see your baby as a whole child entity. You will marvel at your child's abilities. You will start seeing possibilities rather than limitations.

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    You are not alone

    Other parents, have been where you are now. There is an enormous amount of information and a great deal of support available to you.

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    Meet Deaf Adults

    Meet Deaf or Hard of Hearing adults and ask questions about their life experiences.

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    Have a playdate

    Ask lots of questions of parents and family members with a child who is Deaf/HH.

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    Play!

    Remember, your child is a child first! Play, laugh, and have fun together. Learning is easiest when you are having fun.

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    Be Open

    Ask questions of teachers and Deaf adults. The more you know, the more confident you will feel about your child’s future.

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    Contemplate

    This is a unique journey. You will receive a lot of suggestions from family, friends, and different professionals. Think about each suggestion carefully. Remember you are always gathering information and making your best decision at the time.

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    Celebrate

    The birth of your baby is a wonderful reason to celebrate. You will mostly realize that the dreams you had for your baby are still possible. Treasure the joy of watching your baby grow and develop into a happy adult.

Parent Resources

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    Parent Resource Guide

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    Position Statement on Access to Language for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

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    The Benefits of Bilingualism

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    Parents and Young Deaf Children Reading Together

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Your child has a bright future

The Goals of California's Newborn Hearing Screening are to provide Early Support & Language

In many ways your Deaf/HH child is like any other child. Your child will meet many milestones such as reaching for you and taking first steps. Your child will also be more visually acute. Your child will be more attuned to subtle movement. Your child’s gaze is attentive to details and your child’s brain is ready to absorb language. Communicate visually while you learn whether your child has the ability to access language auditorily. Your child can be multi-lingual by using American Sign Language (ASL) as their foundation language.

read more

Fill out this form to get more info and connect with other families!