Title: 'Supporting Families of Children with Hearing Loss: The River School Parent-Support Continuum'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): Parent Infant Program, Family Support, Parent Coaching,
Learning Objectives:
  1. Recognize the critical role of family support in promoting children’s early language skills.
  2. Describe types of programs that may be implemented in order to support families of children with hearing loss
  3. Design a continuum of parent support services, tailored to their program’s specific needs, that will best support parents and facilitate early childhood development.


Incorporating parent training and support into early education programs for children with hearing loss can effectively promote children’s early language learning (Quittner et al., 2013; Niparko et al., 2010). Through The River School’s parent-support continuum, families have access to a network of support services tailored to their needs at each stage of their children’s development. Programs available to families include: • Parent-Infant Program - free, community-based, weekly support group open to any child with hearing loss, birth to three and their family members, regardless of communication modality or amplification. Facilitated by a team with training in audiology, speech-language pathology, developmental psychology, and early childhood education, Parent-Infant teaches parents to use hands-on activities that promote children’s language development, and provides education for families as they navigate the process of early identification and intervention. • Sound Support - monthly support group for parents of children with hearing loss who attend The River School. Sound Support combines time for formal presentations on a range of topics, professional and parent panels, and opportunities to connect with a cohort of families. • Therapeutic Coffees- parents-only monthly support group facilitated by a psychologist provides a safe place for grief counseling, emotional support and parent-education. • Individual Therapy- parents who need more individualized support can receive weekly counseling with a River School psychologist. • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) - promotes child language and behavioral development and fosters positive parent-child relationships. In PCIT a certified therapist observes and coaches parents and children as they play together. Parents are taught skills they can apply in the home to promote child development and establish a nurturing and secure relationship with their child. Parent support is critical to fostering early language growth. The River School’s parent-support continuum empowers parents through education and support, to promote their children’s communication skills.
Presentation: Tuesday_Segell_940_NicoleHutchinson_1564.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: Topical Session 4- 1564.doc
Nicole Hutchinson - Primary Presenter,POC
The River School
     Credentials: MA, CED
      Nicole Hutchinson is a Deaf Educator who specializes in working with infants, toddlers, and families. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of California in San Diego and her Master’s of Arts in Deaf Education: Family-Centered Early Education from Gallaudet University. She currently helps facilitate the Parent-Infant Program and teaches in a toddler classroom at The River School in Washington, DC.

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from The River School.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Amanda Wittman - Co-Presenter
The River School
     Credentials: M.A., CCC-SLP
      Amanda Wittman is a speech-language pathologist at The River School. She embeds speech and language therapy in an inclusive setting in the Toddler Division and helps facilitate the Parent-Infant Program. Amanda holds a B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington and an M.A. from The George Washington University. Outside of the classroom, Amanda also conducts research programs and grant acquisition for The River School

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from The River School.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.