As the parent or caretaker of a deaf or hard of hearing child you may be wondering what educational setting is best to meet your child’s needs.
I want to make you aware of schools for the deaf. Schools for the deaf are designed with your child in mind. They provide an environment that allows your child to have access to all communication. They provide certified teachers with experience teaching deaf and hard of hearing students.
Your deaf child may be the first deaf person you have ever met.
As a hearing parent of two deaf children – now adults – I remember well those feelings of fear and uncertainty. Will my child reach her full potential? Will he have friends? Will she fit in with our family? Will he be all right?
Many parents find that being connected with a school for the deaf addresses many of their concerns. Each school for the deaf has a slightly different framework and set of offerings, which may include:
Early intervention services. These could be based at the school as well as in the home, through a parent-infant program that provides services and supports to the entire family.
Preschool services. Many schools offer classes for children age three to five as well has family information and training.
Elementary and secondary education. Schools follow the state or local curriculum and administer state or local assessments. Students prepare for college and career.
Services for students post secondary age (18-21). Some students need support at this age to be able to live independently. Schools for the deaf provide transition programs that link students with community supports and services so that they are able to succeed in this next phase of their lives.
Outreach services. These services may support students who do not attend the school for the deaf, and they provide training and information to professionals, parents, and other interested individuals. Services could be consultation, audiology, assessment, educational recommendations, and more. Many schools also offer summer camps or other educational programming.
There are no tuition fees charged to families by schools for the deaf.
To learn more, contact the school for the deaf nearest you. Find out what it has to offer and make sure your child and family have every advantage.