Family Conversations is a program for families with children from birth to age 3 who are deaf or hard of hearing. We serve families in Western Washington whose children have hearing loss in both ears.
Learning language is a key to your child reading and writing, doing well in school, making social connections and forming fulfilling family relationships. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. We know each family is unique and uses different methods to reach their goals for their child. Our role is to support you as you explore the many tools that can help your child learn and grow. We believe that children with hearing loss achieve their best when families get professional support early in life.
Family Conversations is based at Children’s, but we bring services to you. Our team members meet with your family in your home. We also plan playgroups for children and meetings for parents to talk about raising a child with hearing loss.
Hearing loss can occur for many reasons, such as genetic causes, infection, trauma or noise levels that damage the ears. If hearing loss isn't found early in life, it may cause problems with your child's speech and language skills.
One of our communication specialists meets with your family in or near your home each week. They coach and support you as you work toward your goals for your child. We also work closely with others on your child’s team, such as their audiologist, family resource coordinator and aural habilitation therapist.
The communication specialist who visits you will bring kits to help enhance your child’s language learning. We show you how to use the kits and then leave them with you to explore with your child. The kits are based on different themes and include items such as children’s books transcribed into Signing Exact English, songs, nursery rhymes, toys and daily activities.
This method of signing allows all the parts of English to be seen and heard at the same time. Most SEE signs are borrowed from American Sign Language (ASL) or are modified ASL signs. SEE follows English closely, while ASL is a complete language of its own. SEE may help young children learn English. We offer evening SEE classes in King and Pierce counties.
All the children in our program use devices such as digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM systems or more than one of these. Our team members help your child and family adjust to using these devices.
We provide resources and information about events to support your continued learning. You can check out nearly 200 items, such as books, DVDs, videos and CDs, from our lending library.