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Your baby is deaf or hard of hearing

Help and support are available for your family.

Early Intervention services

Early intervention is available at no cost to families.  Families can enroll their children directly; a referral is not needed. Email to be connected to another parent.

Every child who is deaf or hard of hearing is eligible to receive early intervention services. In addition, services are available from Specialty Service Providers who have special skills and knowledge around hearing loss and are trained to work with families of children with hearing loss. Families exploring communication options can request services from more than one Specialty Service Provider.  Talk with your service coordinator about whether Specialty Services might be helpful to your child and family.

Additional Resources

MCDHH Children’s Specialists

Connect with the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children’s Specialists to better understand how hearing loss might affect development and review options for services and supports to your family.

617-740-1600 Voice
617-740-1700 TTY
617-326-7546 Video Phone

Additional Resources

Sign Language Resources

There are many resources available to help your child and your family learn sign language.  Early Intervention Parent Infant Programs can provide sign language instruction.  Other in person and on line options are also available.

Family Sign Language Program

Children enrolled in Early Intervention who are deaf or hard of hearing can receive sign language instruction for free.  The Family Sign Language Program will send a deaf or hard of hearing tutor into the family’s home once a week to work with the family. The goal of this program is to introduce family members to Sign Language, enabling them to communicate with their child at the earliest age possible.

Families will receive a total of 20 weeks of instruction tailored specifically to them. The first 10 weeks are provided in the family’s home; the second 10 weeks may be in the home, online, or in a group setting with other families. Classes will be scheduled at a time convenient for the family.

Sign It ASL

Sign It ASL is a new, free online curriculum for learning American Sign Language (ASL). The instruction is done by professional actors (both deaf and hearing) who are fluent in ASL and is highly interactive, entertaining, and engaging. You can complete the lessons at your own pace. Built-in quizzes provide feedback about how well you are learning the material, and there is ample opportunity for practice.

Shared Reading Program

The Shared Reading Program is designed to teach parents and care givers how to read to their deaf and hard of hearing children, using American Sign Language (ASL). Tutors also provide strategies to share books most effectively.  Instruction is provided by experienced Deaf tutors and there is a new book every month. This event is held in ASL, Spanish and English with interpretation available throughout. All printed materials are in both English and Spanish as well.

Families share their experience

Henry’s Story

Dorothy’s Story

Mira’s Story

Sarah, Can you hear me?

Little Moments

Loss and Found

Materials for families with Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss Study

The Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL) study looked at the hearing, speech, language, and psychosocial outcomes of children who are hard of hearing and access to early intervention. The OCHL study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.  The OCHL study focused on examining the impact of newborn hearing screening, early intervention, and advances in hearing technology on a wide range of developmental outcomes for children who are hard of hearing. A summary of findings for parents can be found here.

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