Title: 'Creating Strong Early Intervention Programs to Combat Social Deafness'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): social deafness, inclusion, early intervention
Learning Objectives:
  1. Define social deafness, and explain the impact on children with hearing loss.
  2. Describe and discuss interventions and supports that early interventionists can use in order to help prepare children with hearing loss for mainstream classrooms.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), with subsequent adjudication, has lead to an increase of children with hearing loss being placed in classrooms with typically developing hearing peers. Successful peer interactions at a young age have been shown to contribute to better academic achievement, and more exposure to typical hearing peers is correlated with better peer acceptance overall (DeLuzio &and Girolametto, 2011). While many children with hearing loss appear to function well in mainstream classrooms, they often struggle during group discussions or cooperative learning activities in the context of a noisy listening environment (Vermeulen et al., 2012). This, coupled with educators who are not fully versed in the impact of hearing loss, has led to a phenomenon called “social deafness” (Punch & Hyde, 2010). Early intervention needs to focus on supporting children with hearing loss as they acquire the foundation for language and literacy, engage in social interaction with peers, and develop self-advocacy skills (DeLuzio &and Girolametto, 2011 and Mellon et al, 2010). This presentation will review research on the inclusion of children with hearing loss and the concept of social deafness, and provide suggestions on how to support young children with hearing loss in classrooms with typical developing hearing peers. With specific supports, the effects of social deafness for children with hearing loss in the mainstream can be ameliorated, allowing children to benefit fully from early identification, better amplification, and appropriate early intervention.
Presentation: 1323MelissaMeck.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Melissa Meck - Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter
The River School
     Credentials: Masters of Arts in Teaching Parent of a child with hearing loss
     Other Affiliations: Maryland/DC Hands & Voices
      Melissa Meck is currently teaching at The River School in Washington DC, using thematic curriculums to engage and create life long learners. She received her M.A.T. from American University, graduating with Distinction, and is currently pursuing a second masters in Special Education, Inclusion, through Johns Hopkins University. She has served in leadership roles with in the schools in which she has taught, as well as mentoring newly licensed teachers and supervising student teachers. Teaching children with hearing loss in an inclusion environment is one of her greatest passions, and her inspiration comes from her daughter who was diagnosed with profound hearing loss seven years ago. For the past seven years Melissa has dedicated her personal and professional life to helping families and children with hearing loss.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Nancy Mellon - Author
The River School
     Credentials: Masters of Science, Developmental Psychology, Johns Hopkins University
      Nancy Mellon founded The River School in 1999, and is Executive Director. She was Clinical Coordinator of the Listening Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, currently serves on Board of Directors of River School, River ACCESS and Chattering Children, and as the public member of ASHA’s Government Relations Public Policy Board.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -