We are a PreK-12 school for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

First Conversations Early Intervention Program

Philosophy

First Conversations is committed to the concept that a child’s greatest resource is his/her own family. Our Early Intervention Program partners with families and caregivers to support the development of the whole child. Trained professionals specializing in working with deaf/hard-of-hearing children, visit families in the home and the community to support families’ understanding of various communication opportunities, including American Sign Language and Spoken English, their child’s hearing levels and assistive technology. Our specialized team develops a plan with the family that recognizes each child’s individual needs and utilizes strategies to optimize their child’s communication development. First Conversations Early Intervention staff offer a full range services and supports for families and caregivers.

Home Education and Guidance Program - home-based services through regular home visits by fully certified/licensed Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Speech Language Pathologists, and Social Workers.

Center-based Family Playgroup - designed for older toddlers, this group meets three times a week and focuses on language learning and routines. Families are supported with strategies to provide their child increased access to communication, language, social and cognitive development.

Professional Consultation –infant mental health consultant, psychologist, speech therapist, audiologist, cochlear implant professional and a social worker are available for consult.

Parent Workshop Series- monthly guest speakers provide workshops on infant toddler development and behavior, language development and strategies, and community resources.

Family American Sign Language Classes – free sign language classes focus on parent communication with their child and learning about the Deaf community.

Community Events- play-dates are organized in the community to connect parents of deaf/hard of hearing children with each other and community resources.

Anyone who has a concern about a child's development can make a referral for a multi-disciplinary evaluation to determine eligibility for services. Physicians, social workers, case managers and parents can start the process by calling the City of Philadelphia's Early Intervention Intake Department at 215.685.4646.

Parent/Caregiver

Resources

If you would like additional information regarding PSD's First Conversations Early Intervention Program, please feel free to contact our Early Intervention Coordinator, Meg Santoro, M.S. Ed. at msantoro@psd.org or by calling 267-228-2471 or you may contact our Outreach Director, Karen Leslie-Henry at klesliehenry@psd.org or by calling 215-754-4772.

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