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 A.J., Michigan

What should I as a parent of an 11 year old deaf child adopted from Liberia this past July 2012 ask to have written into his IEP. He also has mild Cerebral palsy.

Question from A.J., Michigan. Posted October 26, 2012.
Response from Marc Marschark - NTID

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is intended to provide deaf children with the educational services they need in order to achieve their full potential in school. As such, they can include everything from communication support, medical assistance, and tutoring to test accommodations and technology in the classroom. The whole point of an IEP is that it is individualized, and that means that it is necessary to be very familiar with your child in order to know what needs to go into the program. A school psychologist familiar with deaf children should be included in planning the IEP, as should someone who can fully evaluate your child’s language strengths and needs, someone who can provide specific information with regard to audiological support, and a teacher (or someone from a local school for the deaf) familiar with deaf children in the situation. as you will see if you search the site for the term “IEP,” you need to be the strongest advocate for your child in the process.