Family-Centered Birth-to-Three Program
The Birth-to-Three Program at Sound Beginnings is a family-centered service for families of infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). The first three years of life are an exciting time of brain development needed to support language and social interactions. This rich time of growth is the prime window of opportunity for parents to help their child learn to listen and talk. Enrolling a child who is DHH in early intervention in the infant and toddler years is found to offer the best long-term outcomes for acquiring spoken language. Sound Beginnings audiologists and early intervention providers support parents in ensuring that their infant/toddler is receiving and making meaning from the best possible access to sound from their hearing technology, so that their child can follow typical developmental milestones as closely as possible.
There is no fee to enroll in the Sound Beginnings Birth-to-Three Program for children who are DHH whose families live within the Cache, Rich, and Box Elder counties in Utah and within the Franklin county in Idaho.
Parent-Child Toddler and Transition Group
The Parent-Toddler group is a class for children who are DHH and are between 18 to 36 months old. Parents, other adult family members, or caregivers attend the class with their toddler. The class meets once or twice a week for 2-hour sessions and is filled with fun and interactive, age-appropriate listening and language-based experiences for parents to share with their child. Parents have an opportunity to meet and connect with other parents of toddlers with hearing loss to establish an additional network of friendship and support. Children who participate in the Parent-Toddler group also continue to receive home-intervention in the Birth-to-3 program.
Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Approach
Early intervention is provided by highly qualified deaf educators and/or speech-language pathologists who have obtained, or are in process of acquiring, a post-master’s professional certification as a LSL Specialist Auditory-Verbal Educator (LSLS Cert. AVEd) or -Auditory Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert-AVT), as awarded by the Alexander Graham Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language. Read the Principles of Certified LSL Specialists.
The focus of the parent-coaching method used at Sound Beginnings is to help families learn communication strategies with their child that are true to parent choice and home activities. Parents are respected as the most important teacher to support their child’s awareness to sound, to attend to sounds in the environment, and to develop the early communication skills that will lay a foundation for speech and language. An early intervention provider specialized in developing listening and spoken language skills meets with a family once a week either in the child’s home or in the Sound Beginnings program facility on the Utah State University campus. Tele-intervention services are also a successful option for families.
Audiology services are available on-site at Sound Beginnings year-round. Services include hearing testing, hearing aid services, and cochlear implant mapping.
Sound Beginnings has the opportunity of interdisciplinary collaboration of highly specialized deaf educators, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists who regularly coordinate efforts to respond to each child’s targeted needs. Graduate students, who are masters or doctoral degree candidates, deliver individualized intervention using the most current auditory and research-focused training techniques. Home-based and group intervention sessions with graduate students are coordinated with and supervised by highly specialized speech-language pathologists or deaf educators from the USU Dept of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education.