Pediatric Ear, Hearing and Balance Center
Education and Family Support
Our unique team of specialists includes a teacher of the deaf and a certified child life specialist. Each role is dedicated to the support of children with hearing loss. Our team assists families before, during and after visits by supplying them with resources, helping them obtain appropriate early intervention and school services and tailoring recommendations for their child’s developmental and educational needs.
Children with hearing loss benefit from specific supports so they can better access language and aim for success. We're here to help!
As part of the Pediatric Hearing Center, our education and family support specialists will deliver resources your child needs beyond our hospital setting. Whether your child needs help feeling comfortable during a hearing test, you want to learn more about early intervention services or your child's school requires recommendations to support hearing loss, we'll do our best to provide you with the resources needed to help your child succeed.
- What is early intervention? All children with hearing loss should enroll in early intervention as soon as possible. To learn more, download a brochure here (multiple languages available).
- What is an IFSP? Read a summary of service plans here.
- Early intervention agencies: Find the agency for your town here.
- Specialty providers: Children with hearing loss need a provider on their intervention team who understand how hearing loss affects language and development. Find specialty providers here.
- Hear to learn: Provides links to webinars, video tutorials and materials for parents in English and Spanish. These resources include educational information, instructional videos and materials/activities for parents.
- Prepare for a visit: Click here for a helpful handout to prepare for your child's visit to our clinic.
- What is an IEP or a 504? Read a summary of service plans here.
- What are those educational terms? SLP, DHH, LRE? Download this helpful list.
- Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss: Offers educational resources for teachers and informational resources for parents. This website separates information into “Infants and Toddlers” as well as “School-Aged Children” to provide resources about language development, interventions, accommodations, school plans and even legal issues.
- Prepare for a visit: Click here to prepare your child for their visit to our clinic.
- Hearing First: Free online community for parents to connect, view videos and print or view resources. This is primarily a resource for children who listen with their devices and who are learning to speak. Click here to access.
- American Society for Deaf Children: Resource site for families who choose a sign language approach to communication. Provides access to American Sign Language (ASL) classes as well as an ASL dictionary, deaf mentorship and children's stories presented in ASL. Some resources may have a cost. Click here to access.
- AG Bell: Organization for children developing listening and spoken language that provides materials for all stages of a child's hearing journey – from language development to self-advocacy. AG Bell offers parent support, local membership chapters and information about hearing loss and communication options. Click here to access.
- Hear Indiana: Provides videos that demonstrate some tips and strategies for parents, including language strategies and equipment listening checks. They also share student stories from the Hear Indiana program. Click here to access.
- Deaf Inc: Provides resources regarding civil rights, advocacy, assistive technology, mental health and public services for individuals who are deaf. Click here to access.
- Federation for Children with Special Needs: Provides information and contact information for special education programs, early intervention and transition services. Offers workshops and training programs for parents and caregivers on civil rights, bullying, understanding IEPs and more. Click here to access.
- Hearing Loss Association of America: Organization that supports understanding, living with and accessing resources for hearing loss. Offers resources for parents, teachers and school staff on working with school-aged children with hearing loss. Click here to access.
- Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH): Provides informational resources as well as support services for children with hearing loss and their families. Case managers may supply assistance with obtaining the correct early intervention or educational services. Click here to access.
- National Association of the Deaf: Provides resources and information on civil rights surrounding hearing loss. This includes information on sign language, advocacy, early intervention, civil rights laws, education, employment, mental health and travel. Click here to access.
- Pepnet 2: Provides educational resources for individuals with hearing loss, including resources as they transition out of high school into higher education or the workplace. This includes information on accommodations such as interpreters, speech-to-text services, note takers, study abroad and equal access. Click here to access.
- Wrightslaw: A site devoted to understanding educational law and rights for students with disabilities, including hearing loss. Provides information about understanding Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), eligibility for school services and inclusion in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), among other topics. Click here to acces.
Meet Our Team
Master’s of Science in Education of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Our education specialist is a Massachusetts- and New Hampshire-certified teacher of the deaf who assists families with obtaining early-intervention specialty services for children up to three years old and recommending and securing appropriate educational supports for children who are school age.
Ms. Brollier also advises school teams, medical professionals and private providers regarding a child's specific educational needs. Due to an increasing demand for support, our education specialist services are provided following internal referral only.
Master’s in Child Life and Family Studies
As a certified child life specialist, Ms. Nitso supports families by preparing patients for their visits, helping families feel more comfortable in the clinical setting and providing resources as needed. To decrease a child’s anxiety during an appointment she will provide children with the opportunity to explore medical equipment before it is used and explain procedures in a developmentally appropriate way. Ms. Nitso will also use play as a tool to help the child stay engaged during the appointment to achieve the best results.
Support by a child life specialist during medical appointments leads to better success with pediatric tests and procedures.