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ERIC Number: EJ945011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1544-6751
The Time Is Now: Wisconsin's Journey towards Improving Early Intervention Services
Dicker, Marcy
Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v12 p38-43 2011
In 1990 Katie was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss at 26 months of age. Her communication skills were delayed and a hearing loss had been suspected earlier. Several months later, Katie received hearing aids. Her mother was also referred to the county's Birth to 3 Program. In Wisconsin, Birth to 3 Programs were based out of the Department of Health Services, and each county had its own program. Katie was the first deaf child on the service coordinator's caseload. Due to the significant language delay, the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team determined the need for early intervention. Neither the early interventionist nor the speech therapist on the team had ever worked with a deaf child. The speech therapist, however, knew 10 signs and was assigned to provide services to Katie. Several months later, at 3 years of age, Katie transitioned to the public school system with a vocabulary of 10 signs and behavioral issues stemming from lack of communication. Katie was bright and should have entered school with communication skills commensurate to her peers so that she was ready to learn within a classroom environment. Instead, she was linguistically delayed and behavioral challenges were evident. Fortunately for other deaf and hard of hearing children and their families in the state of Wisconsin, early intervention services there have undergone significant changes over the past 20 years. Wisconsin faced numerous issues in this evolution. Many of the county Birth to 3 Programs were not able to provide trained and/or experienced personnel to address the unique needs of a child with hearing loss. The low incidence of this population, the size and rural nature of the state, the lack of qualified personnel, and the structure of Wisconsin Birth to 3 services were contributing factors to the challenges in adequately serving this population. This article describes how these challenges were addressed to improve early intervention services in the state.
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin