March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


3/14/2016  |   11:05 AM - 11:35 AM   |  Topical Session 1   |  Sunrise   |  4 - Early Intervention

What Does Kindergarten/School Readiness Mean for the Deaf/HH Child?

Learning doesn’t begin when children start school, it begins at birth. By the time children have turned three, they have already begun to lay the foundation for the skills and abilities that will help them succeed in school. It has been well documented in decades of research that language deprivation or delays between ages 0-5 is the main cause of Deaf children’s eventual reading, academic, and social struggles. . Without access to language, they may demonstrate deficiencies in cognitive development specifically executive functioning such as memory, planning, attention, relations, critical thinking, and conceptual learning. Those skills are essential to achieving academically and in everyday activities. Kindergarten teachers report that a child’s social and emotional “literacy”—the development of self-control, respect for others, a sense of confidence and competence—is vital for success in kindergarten. Without these skills, children are at a greater disadvantage in school. Center on Families, Communities, Schools and Children’s Learning. 1994 This presentation will address the varied perspectives on what the terms ‘Kindergarten Readiness’ or school success mean and specifically how they apply to the Deaf/HH child and their basic right to educational equity and equality. Suggestions for change in how we evaluate and measure ‘success’ will be shared. Are our Schools Ready for the Deaf and Hard Child?? Will be the big question addressed. An adequate definition of readiness and a way to evaluate it will help policymakers work “backwards” from the goal of school success and to specify the programs and supports Deaf and Hard-of Hearing children and schools need in order to nurture and enhance the deaf child’s readiness.

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Michele Tompkins (POC,Primary Presenter), California School for the Deaf, mtompkins@csdf-cde.ca.gov;
Michele Tompkins received her MA in Deaf Education in NY. After having worked in a variety of settings and with varied age groups of D/HH children, Michele finally found her niche in California's Early Start Parent Infant Program for D/HH. Michele has been involved with the Parent-Infant Program for more than 25 years. Michele currently works in a collaborative Early Start Program between the California School for the Deaf and the local school districts. She is also the Early Childhood Education Teacher Specialist. She serves as a visitation site consultant for the California Department of Education SEEDS Project and has received her certification in Infant-Parent and Early Childhood Mental Health through the Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program in Napa, CA.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.