March, 2019        

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ECHO Initiative Events

* * * * * * * * * *  
Next OAE Training
Web Class:
Four Sessions :
April  22nd, 25th,
29th, and May 2nd, 2019
  2-3 p.m. Eastern
* * * * * * * * * * * 
ECHO Initiative
Link to Previous
Recorded Webinars:
Our most recent 
recorded ECHO Initiative webinar from 
February 19, 2019:
* * * * * * * * 
If you've missed any of 
our other previous webinars, 
click here to access our complete library.

New to 
OAE Screening? 

I f your program is new to OAE screening, or if you have added new staff who need instruction on OAE screening practices,  
where staff can view instructional video modules
and access the
corresponding resources. 
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 Probes and Tips 

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Tip of the Month
Maximize Children's Access to  
Sights & Sounds That Support Communication 
When thinking about children who are deaf or hard of hearing, people may consider only hearing technology or sign language as keys to language development. Our  colleagues at Hands & Voices have written a great article to remind everyone that there are also simple strategies that can maximize a child's access to everyday communication These strategies can be used by parents and early care and education providers to make sure that children get the f ull benefit of language-learning oppor tunities in daily lif e.  The y can also be used to support children who are experiencing temporary hearing loss as a result of ear infections.  Here are just a few of the ideas that can easily be put into practice.
Position the child to maximize visual and auditory access:
  • In group settings, seat the child so that he or she can most easily see others in the room. Placing the child with his or her back to the wall will help to keep ongoing conversations and activities within view.  Round tables may also help.
  • When traveling in a car, place the child so that the ear with the most hearing is away from the window. This will allow conversations to be heard more easily while minimizing road noise that interferes with communication. 
  • Walk next to the child, rather than in front or behind, so that vocal and visual cues are clear.
Add lighting or make adjustments in low-lighting conditions:  Remember that facial expressions and mouth movements all add to a child's ability to correctly understand spoken language. At nap time, or bedtime, or any time lights are low, fewer visual cues are available. Think about ways to illuminate a story reader's face, for example, so that the child doesn't miss out.    
Pre-teach vocabulary that is in popular movies, cartoons or music:  It is easier for a child to recognize
a word or name that is already part of their vocabulary.  Introducing unfamiliar words or unusual character's names that will be encountered when watching a movie can help a child to follow the story line.  Learning key words in a song can make it easier for the child to enjoy singing along.  Taking just a few minutes to pre-teach key words will allow new vocabulary to be reinforced during the viewing or singing activity. 
Create visual cues and representations of scheduled activities:  An essential part of a child's development is learning how to anticipate events. Be aware that a child
with a hearing loss may not "overhear" all of the informal cues that other children respond to. This is especially true when a teacher or parent is not directly facing the child when information or instruction is given. Never assume that a child is intentionally misbehaving if he or she fails to follow direction to transition to another task. Think carefully about the types of cues that can help children to anticipate a change in activity. It can be very helpful to create a visual representation of daily activities and to use this to focus
the child's attention while explaining what needs to happen next.
We kn ow that children are learning all the time in all different   settings.  Simple strategies that support communi cation can make a difference in   helping children who are deaf or hard of hearing to learn alongside their hearing peers.   
Probe of the Month
Have any other questions about how to provide a child who is deaf or hard of hearing with easy access to everyday communication?  

Let us know at:    
And, as always, share with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.     

 ECHO - Headstart

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Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS

to enhance early childhood hearing screening and follow-up practices and PROBES

 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.