Session with family
The most important aspect of this program is that it establishes a place that provides objective information, and services on any subject related to the deaf child, for parents who already know or have just discovered that their infant or young child is deaf and consequently feel lost and do not know what to do. Objective information is put at their disposal from educational references and research as well as from personal experiences about the best possible choices for their child. These choices are also reviewed in the context of what is available in Lebanon and what really meets their needs and priorities.
The LCD’s role is to provide emotional and cognitive support for parents, to overcome their grief and to supply them with all basic information and skills.
Therefore besides the continuous guidance (talks, following tests needed, advise for whom to contact, searching possibilities for schooling, etc), the Early Intervention Program is offering parents the Support Group where they can share feelings, worries, information and experience, under guidance of a psychologist/family counselor. It is important that this support be provided to the whole family.
Parents come from both distant and closer areas. The ones who come from closer areas can bring their child once a week, or twice when needed, for therapy sessions with the therapist who works with the child (approach according to need: Auditory-Verbal, Aural-oral, bilingual, etc.), but gives priority to the role of the family. Parents coming from distant areas usually bring their child once a month for evaluation and follow up. It is important to include as many effective key persons as possible in the therapy sessions in order to build up a strong and supportive team, especially towards the mother who usually is, though not always, the main key person carrying most responsibilities in relation to the child’s needs.
All parents benefit from the John Tracy Clinic sequential lessons, which are translated and adapted to the Arab Language and Culture by our LCD with the authorization from the clinic. These lessons help parents in a gradual manner to enhance their child’s whole development with stress on language development and listening skills. All families are enjoying these lessons because of their simplicity and their content which is written with a lot of consideration to the feelings of the family and the abilities of each individual child.
The LCD’s Resource Room provides intensive information, as well as links through the Internet; so that answers are always available to parents’ questions related to any subject concerning their child as a child and as a deaf child.
In the year 2004, the LCD initiated a specialized Integrated Nursery, Montessori oriented, for hearing and hearing impaired children where both benefit from a very rich environment in all means of development with a special focus on language.
Sign Language courses are also provided for parents who choose to adopt this approach in communication, as well as for other interested persons.
Finally, the Early Intervention Program supports parents until their child is settled in a proper school that meets his/her needs. These differ from one child to another. But even then parents can still benefit from the EIP until the child is six years of age.
In relation to Early Intervention, the LCD seeks any opportunity to encourage the possibility of applying Early Detection of Hearing Loss in Lebanon, for the important reason that, for an effective early intervention to take place, hearing loss should be detected the earliest possible.