The Parent/Infant Program is designed to educate parents on how to help their child develop their auditory awareness and spoken language through everyday life experiences.
The program takes a comprehensive approach to nurturing and educating young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, with an emphasis on instructing parents how to be their child’s mentor and advocate. The program is centered on the Demonstration Home which offers individualized parent and child sessions with a master teacher in a homelike setting. Other program components include Friday Family School, Parent Workshops and Support Groups. Audiology and counseling services are also available.
The program is offered at the main campus in Los Angeles and JTC’s Long Beach Center. Most children enrolled range in age from newborn to age three, along with a smaller number up to age six who have late identified, progressive or late-onset deafness. The children have varying levels of hearing loss, amplification and special needs.
Parents and their infant or toddler (0 - 3 years of age) with a hearing loss meet weekly in private sessions with a master teacher in a homelike setting on campus that includes eating, conversation, bedroom areas, and a bathroom. In this familiar environment, the family builds interaction skills that lay the foundation for all listening, language and speech skills their child will need to communicate with their family, school, and their community. In the Demonstration Home appointment parents are also introduced to resources and information that equips them to make decisions about their child’s education and future. Demonstration Home Program sites are located in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Families enrolled in the Parent/Infant Program are also encouraged to attend the three-hour center-based playgroup that is held year-round at the Clinic’s main campus in Los Angeles. These sessions take place in a nursery school setting and provide the opportunity for parents to meet and interact with other families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
With the increase in number of babies, the Clinic has added a session, called “Baby Land,” for parents and their very young, pre-walking infants. The first hour of Friday Family School is set aside for the children with a hearing loss and their preschool-age siblings and parents to learn together in a play group. During the next two hours, the parents alternate between class and support group, while the toddlers and infants remain with the teachers in the preschool classroom. The siblings stay with their sisters or brothers who are deaf and hard of hearing.