Be an Informed Consumer

Is my child receiving good services from our teacher of the deaf/SLP/AVT/early interventionist?  Well, how on earth would I know?  How can I tell “good” therapy when I see it?  How do I choose between Program A and Program B for my child?  Where do I go from here?

Most parents of children with hearing loss were thrust into the job by accident.  One day, you’re moving along, learning how to parent your child, and the next, you’re thrown into a whole new world full of professionals whose titles you can’t pronounce, jargon you are only beginning to understand, and more technology and appointments than you can fit in a day planner.  You didn’t sign up for this, but it’s your life now and, like any good parent, you want to do your best.  But how?  Here are some great, free checklists available online to help you evaluate various professionals and programs.  These can help if you are fortunate enough to have the choice of several programs or, if you only have a “choice” of one, to provide areas for improvement that you can discuss with your service providers.

 

How can I compile and evaluate information about communication/methodology choices?

Decision Guide to Communication Choices

 

What about genetic testing?

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child’s Genetics Team (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)

 

How do I build a relationship with my child’s pediatrician?  What can I expect from him/her in relation to hearing loss/early intervention issues?

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child’s Medical Professional (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)

Building Early Intervention Partnerships with Your Child’s Doctor: Tips for and from Parents

 

What should I ask at my child’s ENT (Ear Nose and Throat Doctor) appointment?

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child’s ENT Doctor (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)

 

How do I evaluate audiological services?

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child’s Audiologist (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)

 

How do I evaluate the services of a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child’s Speech-Language Pathologist (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)

 

How should I evaluate Early Intervention services?

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child’s Early Interventionist (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)

 

What makes a private auditory-oral school or public school oral program “good”?

Components of a Quality Auditory/Oral Program Checklist

 

What are the characteristics of a high-quality Auditory-Verbal Therapist?

How to Evaluate Your Child’s Auditory Verbal Therapy

 

How do I choose a good school (classroom, teacher, program) placement for my child?

Preschool/Kindergarten Placement Checklist for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Preschool Evaluation Chart

Placement Considerations Checklist for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

 

What modifications might I consider when writing my child’s IEP?

IEP Checklist: Recommended Accommodations and Modifications for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

IEP Checklist

 

My child is in middle school/high school.  How do we prepare for the transition to post-secondary education, job training, and “real life”?

Transition Checklist

Informal Inventory of Independence and Self-Advocacy Skills for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

 

Remember, YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S BEST ADVOCATE! If you do not speak up for your children until they are able to speak for themselves, nobody else will.  You have a right, as a parent, taxpayer, and consumer to critically evaluate your child’s services.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Learn your rights, learn how to advocate effectively (Advocacy Tips for Parents), and build partnerships with high-quality professionals, organizations, and other parents to help you along your way!

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