Parent Infant Program
The Vermont Parent Infant Program is a statewide program, dedicated to providing high-quality information, support, and services for families with babies (age 0 to 3) who are deaf or hard of hearing.
When parents learn that their baby may be deaf or hard of hearing, it can be overwhelming at first. There are many providers, resources and choices available to them in Vermont. Parents have a right to reliable, appropriate, and understandable information, so that they can make informed choices about options and services that are best for their child and family.
The services of the Parent Infant Program are provided at no cost to the families.
Our Parent Advisors are specially trained to work with babies with hearing loss and their families. We make in-person visits to family homes and daycare facilities, to assess needs and evaluate ways to enhance children’s development.
The underlying philosophy of the Vermont Parent Infant Program is family-driven and addresses the family’s priorities and concerns for enhancing their child’s development
- Educate parents about their child’s hearing loss and available communication options
- Consult with other early care providers and clinicians
- Teach skills and activities designed to promote language development
- Assess babies’ language development over time
We also help families incorporate hearing technology into daily life, in a way that is appropriate to each individual and household.
The purpose of the Vermont Parent Infant Program is to help parents acquire the information and develop the skills to assure their deaf or hard of hearing child receives what all children need: love, security, communication, positive self-esteem, and family values.
Our program is funded through Medicaid reimbursements, with a grant allocation from the Vermont Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EDHI) program and with additional program and administrative support from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program operated by Nine East Network.
As part of the DHH Program, many of Nine East Network’s DHH Consultants also serve as Parent Advisors throughout the state. Veteran Parent Advisor and Consultant for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Vermont, Camilla Strauss became the Parent Infant Program Coordinator for Nine East Network in September of 2015. Click here to learn more about our DHH Program Team.
The underlying philosophy of the Vermont Parent Infant Program is family-driven and addresses the family’s priorities and concerns for enhancing their child’s development.
Newborn Hearing Screening
Thanks to the success of Vermont’s newborn hearing screening program, many children who are born with hearing loss receive the benefit of early intervention services such as Parent Advisors. For more information about Vermont’s newborn hearing screening program and the Vermont EHDI program, go to the Vermont Department of Health’s website here.
Once a child turns 3, direct services, such as home visits from a parent advisor, deaf mentor or sign instructor will be the responsibility of the local school district. The vast majority of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in Vermont attend mainstream public schools. Some parents decide that the best learning environment for their child is placement in a school for Deaf children out-of-state. Whether in public or private school, Vermont’s deaf and hard of hearing children, families, and educators can receive the benefit of Nine East Network’s School Age Consulting Program.