March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


3/14/2016  |   2:30 PM - 3:00 PM   |  Topical Session 2   |  Towne/Esquire   |  4 - Early Intervention

Communication Options: A Discussion with Parents

How do you begin to explain, to parents, the various language and communication options for their young child identified with hearing loss? Knowing parents of young children with hearing loss have language and communication choices; recognizing there is no one option for all families; recognizing individual families will have unique needs and personal variables that will guide their decision making process; how do you discuss this very important juncture in the journey of parenting a child with deafness or hearing loss? Is it possible to remain unbiased and accurate? Families of infants and young children identified with hearing loss are often bombarded with information. Much of the information is filled with facts and concepts they never imagined having the need to contemplate. Communication and language used within families is a personal choice, and can be an emotional and daunting topic. Our agency embraces the philosophy of informed family choice and has resources to accommodate various communication and technology approaches. Education surrounding these approaches is an integral part of the initial services provided. We will present our process for having a Communication Options discussion with families. Using neutral terminology as described by Nussbaum, D. et al (April, 2006) has been found helpful in reducing some of the confusion about methodologies. Additionally, resources and research highlighting brain development, early infant development as well as visual language and spoken language acquisition is shared to facilitate a discussion of “what it takes” for a child to be successful using the various communication approaches. Parents are encouraged to consider the many factors specific to their family and to address some self-reflecting questions to aid in their decision process.

  • Participants will be exposed to a process used to facilitate the discussion of communication options with families of young children identified with deafness or hearing loss.
  • Participants will identify at least 2 variables potentially influencing parental decision regarding communication options.
  • Participants will gain a greater understanding and be able to describe at least 2 benefits of informed parental choice regarding communication options.

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Amy Peters Lalios (Primary Presenter), Center for Communication, Hearing & Deafness , alalios@cchdwi.org ;
Amy Peters Lalios, M.A., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT, is the current Director of Therapy Services including the ConnectHear, Teleintervention Program at the Center for Communication, Hearing & Deafness, West Allis, Wisconsin. In addition, she provides direct therapy services, has experience mentoring professionals, has written for informational publications, has been an Ad Junct Instructor and current Clinical Supervisor for local Universities undergraduate and graduate speech-language-pathology students, served on Health Advisory Boards of various community organizations, provided presentations at professional conferences, and has previously served as a state EHDI program audiology consultant.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Christine Kometer (Co-Presenter), Center for Communication, Hearing & Deafness, ckometer@cchdwi.org;
Christine Kometer, M.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVEd, is the current Director of Child and Family Services at the Center for Communication, Hearing & Deafness, West Allis, Wisconsin . Chris provides coordination and supervision, and also works within the program as a Child & Family Teacher/Service Coordinator. Chris oversees parent education and counseling services, organizes educational workshops, and leads parent discussion groups. Chris directs and coordinates Child & Family Program activities, as well as sign language classes and social-recreational events. In addition, she has been an Ad Hoc professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has experience providing training to graduate students specializing in education for the deaf and hard of hearing from Gallaudet and other universities. Chris is also involved on many committees throughout the state.


Financial -

Nonfinancial -