The day parents learn that their child is deaf or hard of hearing is a day they will never forget. It is also the beginning of a journey of discovery. They are not alone in this journey. There are parents and professionals who will support them and share experiences and insights along the way.
We chose the title 1-3-6 Family Educator Program because we know how critical Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) is: hearing screening no later than 1 month of age; diagnosis no later than 3 months of age; entry into early intervention no later than 6 months old.
Educating parents is vital because it is their job to make decisions that are right for their child and family. Parents are faced with new challenges when they first find out their child has a hearing loss. What communication and language methods (ASL, Cued Speech, Listening & Spoken Language Approach, and Total Communication) will they be using with their child? Will their child wear device(s) to aid their hearing loss (hearing aid(s), bone-anchored-hearing-aid(s), and or cochlear implant(s))?. Services and the professionals will change often throughout our lifetimes, which is why the family education component is so critical. With the support of 1-3-6 Family Educators, parents will be in a better position to advocate for their child.
In 2014, 1,369 babies did not pass the newborn hearing screening before leaving the hospital. 50% of those babies (689) did not go back for another test to determine if their baby had any hearing loss. In response, through a collaborative agreement with the Virginia Department of Health EHDI Program, the Center for Family Involvement trained parents as 1-3-6 Family Educators. 1-3-6 Family Educators visit birthing hospital newborn screening teams and audiology clinics across Virginia to talk about their hearing screening practices and how to get infants back for another test of their hearing. Below is a postcard the 1-3-6 Family Educators developed for parents to remind them about the importance of following up on their baby’s hearing test.
To get parent support, learn more about the 1-3-6 Family Educator Program, or find resources for children who are deaf/hard of hearing, please call or email Irene Schmalz: firstname.lastname@example.org or Valerie Abbott: email@example.com or call (877) 567-1122
To view a recent presentation on Virginia’s collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health on the 1-3-6 Family Educator Program, click here:
Check out our latest EHDI Learning Community Video
700 East Franklin Street
P.O. Box 843020
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3020
FAX: (804) 828-0042
TTY RELAY: (800) 828-1120
HELPLINE: (877) 567-1122