A Quick Guide for Families of Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children:
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program (DHHP) at Boston Children’s Hospital (Waltham location)
- We encourage all families to work with DHHP to put together an outside evaluation for your child prior to the IEP eligibility meeting. You can provide this additional information to the IEP team.
- Transition Planning Conference (TPC)
- When your child is two years and six months old your Early Intervention service coordinator should schedule this meeting with you, your family, other EI members, and anyone else you’d like to be there.
- Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
- We recommend that you contact your regional MCDHH child specialist prior to your TPC meeting, and invite them to join the meeting.
- Referral to your town’s public school system
- At this meeting your team will review the process of making a referral to your town’s public school for an Individual Education Program (IEP), if that is what you want. At this point, you may want to consider if you will request a Teacher of the Deaf, an ASL interpreter, an ASL evaluation, etc. to be part of this process. You also will discuss next steps for your family in Early Intervention.
- Consent Meeting
- Your town’s public school evaluation team will contact you to get your permission to complete evaluations and contact any members of our IFSP team for more information about your child.
- Members of your town’s public school evaluation team will complete any and all evaluations that your team requested during the TPC. Be sure to request that any language and/or communication evaluations separate spoken language and ASL (if your child is using both) to fully document the child’s ability and progress in each language.
- Individual Education Program (IEP) Eligibility Meeting
- Your town’s public school evaluation team will contact you again to schedule your child’s IEP eligibility meeting. This meeting is only to determine if your child is eligible for an IEP once he/she turns three years old. Again, we highly recommend inviting your MCDHH child specialist to join for this meeting as well.
- IEP Goals and Placement Meeting (if eligible)
- If your child is found eligible, you will work with the team to create an IEP with a list of goals, services, and placement. This is where your MCDHH child specialist will provide the most support.
Remember: Ask for help! You are not alone in this process- many families have gone through it before you, and EI and PIP staff are also knowledgeable about this process as well. Reach out with any questions, concerns or comments, and we will provide resources and ideas to best support your family!