Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from K.T., California

I have a daughter who is deaf and has a cochlear implant. She is an oral student in 7th grade and mainstreamed in the public school. The Speech Language Pathologist at the school who gives her speech therapy has never worked with a child with a cochlear implant and has very little experience working with deaf children. What are my rights to have a qualified SLP work with my daughter and not this district appointed SLP?

Question from K.T., California. Posted February 9, 2012.
Response from Jon Levy - Orange County Department of Education

A very good question! In California, the School District (LEA) is required to provide the appropriate Designated Instructional Services (DIS) for special education students who reside in their school district. Ā Appropriate Related Services are an IEP decision, and one that you will need to discuss with your school district and your daughter’s school. This is a common experience for students that are mainstreamed in their neighborhood schools. Typically, the Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) is not specifically trained in working with students with cochlear implants. Students who attend Regional Deaf Programs have SLP staff that are trained in working with deaf students with cochlear implants. So, the next step would be looking into the modification of your daughter’s IEP.