Title: 'Diagnosed Condition or Documented Delay – Understanding the Numbers'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): Evaluation, Eligibility, Diagnosis, Intervention,
Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will be able to compare the different procedures for evaluating newly referred children with hearing loss to Early Intervention in NY and PA.
  2. Participants will be able to compare and contrast the results of general/developmental testing to speech and language testing in determining a child's delays.
  3. Participants will identify the advantages and disadvantages to using developmental or developmental and speech/language testing for children with hearing loss who are initially referred to EI.


When children are diagnosed with a hearing loss following newborn hearing screening, they are referred to the Early Intervention Program as children with “a diagnosed condition with a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay”. Depending on the state of residence, different procedures are followed to formally determine their eligibility for services. Many states currently require only developmental testing, using a tool like the DAYC or the OUNCE to initiate an IFSP and services. Others require both developmental assessment and disability specific testing, such as speech and language assessment with tools such as the REEL-3 or PLS-5. An assessment of a child’s overall functioning using a tool that is designed to capture the 5 developmental domains required by state and federal regulations, though, may give a misleading view of a child’s areas of strength and needs relating to their hearing loss. In addition, the results of such testing could have far-reaching unintended consequences beyond determination of eligibility. This presentation will give a brief description and comparison of EI evaluation procedures in NY and PA. Evaluation results of initial testing- either Developmental and Speech and Language or Developmental onlyl- for children diagnosed and referred to EI and who started auditory based speech and language therapy before 6 months of age will be shared. The children in this sample have all types and degrees of hearing loss. When available, test results one year post-intervention are also shared. Overall results will show that in most cases, children with hearing loss appeared to have no or slight delays in communication if one were only to look at developmental assessment tools. By incorporating speech and language testing results into the assessment protocol, a very different picture emerges. Participants will be encouraged to discuss the consequences of not having early and full diagnostic information.
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Meredith Berger - POC,Co-Presenter,Author
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
     Credentials: MS Director of Clarke's New York Campus
      Meredith Berger, MS became the director of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech/New York, an Early Intervention and Preschool listening and spoken language program, in 2008. Prior to that, she was the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Educational Specialist at New York Eye and Ear’s Ear Institute/Cochlear Implant Center. She received a B.S. in Education from SUNY at Buffalo State College and a Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Canisius College. She holds New York State Certification in Elementary Education, Special Education and Deaf/Hearing Impaired Education. Her varied experiences include providing early intervention services, working as a classroom teacher on both the preschool and school age levels, and as an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf. In addition to presenting on the educational needs of children with hearing loss, she has also co-authored pieces on the Clinic-School relationship.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Judy Sexton - Co-Presenter
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
     Credentials: Judy Sexton M.S., C.E.D., LSLS Cert. AVEd
      Judy Sexton is the Director of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Pennsylvania. Judy holds a Masters Degree in Education of the Hearing Impaired. Her work experiences include 35 years in the public and private school systems as an itinerant hearing therapist , resource room teacher and classroom teacher in preschool, elementary, middle and high schools. In addition, Judy has been in administration for over 15 years in listening and spoken language programs.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.