When a baby is diagnosed with a hearing-loss, most parents experience a variety of emotions. The diagnosis often creates high levels of anxiety and parents can feel overwhelmed by information and different points of view presented by professionals. If you have a baby with a hearing loss, the Early Education Program for Hearing Impaired Children (EEP) is available to help. It has provided Early Childhood Intervention to families since 1980.
The Early Education Program has introduced a service to cater specifically for families whose baby has recently been diagnosed. Support and information is delivered in a manner that is sensitive to the challenges of establishing feeding, settling and sleep requirements. It might be helpful for you to realise that the immediate needs of your baby have not been changed by this diagnosis. Regardless of the degree of hearing loss or what choices you make later, your early relationship with your baby will become the framework for later language and communication development. This early relationship between you and your baby is best facilitated by providing emotional security, physical comfort and making time to cuddle, enjoy and interact with your baby. In the future you will learn many strategies to enhance your child’s language development, but all of them will be most effective if you have developed a positive and interactive relationship with your baby.
This service is available to help you through this emotional time and also to provide you with the information you are seeking. While we have an enormous amount of information and many contacts with experts in this field, we understand families have varying needs and priorities. This service was introduced to let us respond to your particular needs. The objective of this service will be achieved when you feel well informed and ready to make choices regarding different programs and approaches. Families are welcome to remain at the EEP after this initial stage although some families might decide to move on to other programs. Meanwhile we are here to offer you immediate support.
This service includes three components:
1. Support – To help you work through your feelings regarding the hearing loss.
2. Monitoring and Assessment – To help you with concerns about your baby’s development.
3. Information – To help you gain the knowledge required to make informed choices.
If you think that the Early Education Program for Hearing Impaired Children can help you, please contact us to arrange an appointment. We provide services to families who live in the municipalities of Bayside, Glen Eira, Port Phillip, Greater Dandenong and in some areas of Stonnington, Casey, Frankston, Kingston and the Mornington Peninsula. Families who live in other municipalities are welcome to contact the EEP.
If you would like information about other agencies who work in other areas we are happy to provide you with their contact details.