Originally from an education background, I later became a Teacher of the deaf after completing a Master’s in Learning Intervention (Hearing Impaired) at Melbourne University. There are so many pieces to the puzzle for families of deaf/hard of hearing children to navigate – from initial diagnosis to multiple specialist appointments, to accessing funding, to choice of communication such as listening and spoken language, Auslan or Key Word Sign or perhaps a combination of both. With a family centred practice approach, it begins in early intervention and a partnership with parents to ensure they become the ‘experts’ in providing language and communication experiences with their child through everyday routines and play. Later this extends to local community, educational and social settings where support for educators, parents and the child is essential to ensure an inclusive environment is provided in any setting. Building a team around the child may involve communicating with Hearing Australia, CHIC/PHLIC clinics, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Paediatricians and more. Supporting families and listening and learning together about their child’s strengths and needs is a privilege and an incredibly rewarding role.
Early Intervention Teacher – Hearing