No two families are alike, nor are their communication styles, preferences or needs. So, when caregivers choose a Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) path for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing, it’s crucial that their support team understand how to design a personalized plan to align with their goals.
Taking into consideration the various unique aspects of families—including multilingualism, potential learning challenges and care giving dynamics—a customized approach to each individual child’s needs will allow them to flourish based on their specific strengths and environment.
Clarke parent Elizabeth shares her perspective on the personalization available through Clarke’s tVisit® Teleservices Program.
Families & Clarke Experts: Partners in Each Child’s Success
At Clarke, more and more families are benefiting from this customization. Since 2013, Clarke’s team of LSL experts has offered virtual coaching and support for families of infants and toddlers. Now, with the newly expanded tVisit® Teleservices Program, this essential service is available to families with children of all ages. And families are viewed as collaborators—at every stage along the way.
“Families are the experts on their child and their family’s priorities,” says Nell Rosenberg, MEd, MS, CCC-SLP LSLS Cert AVT, Clarke’s national director of teleservices. “Not only are the tVisit sessions customized to each family, but the objectives are customized as well. And the Clarke team jointly selects these objectives with the family.”
Nell points out that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to this work. “Children have a wide range of needs in terms of what they need to learn, their particular learning style, attention span, behaviors… And families have really different routines, ways they play and styles of interaction.”
By meeting families and children where they are and supporting them to meet their LSL goals, Clarke tVisit practitioners can create a uniquely tailored experience for each family or student. This often requires flexibility and responsiveness.
Elizabeth, whose second grader Josie is enrolled in the program at Clarke, shares her experience addressing needs as they arise. “There’s been different times I’ve reached out to Josie’s TOD [teacher of the deaf] to ask if we could work on a particular challenge… or her teacher has reached out in the past to say… this lesson’s coming up and there will be some challenging vocabulary.”
In this way, Josie’s TOD is able to support her by spending more time on a challenging topic or pre-teaching new vocabulary that may be difficult.
Sharon, parent of a child who was in Clarke’s tVisit® Teleservices Program talks about her family’s experience.
Prepping for a tVisit with Clarke
Your Clarke practitioner will provide all the information you need prior to a session, but here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect.
What will you need?
For the space: find a quiet, comfortable location which suits the participants in the session. For example, if you’re joining the meeting with an infant, a partner and a grandfather, find a spot where the baby can sit and play, and the caregivers can both listen to and watch the Clarke practitioner.
For the technology: you will need a smartphone, tablet or computer, with internet access and a camera, for the session.
How’s your internet connection?
A high-speed, stable internet connection is necessary for a tVisit session. If possible, connect to the internet via WiFi or an ethernet cable, instead of using your mobile network, as streaming video content will use a significant amount of data.
If you’re using Wi-Fi, you may want to check the signal icon (usually depicted as bars or waves) before logging into your session. To access full signal strength, you may need a clear path between your device and your router. If this isn’t possible, you may be better off connecting to your router via an ethernet cable. (Your Clarke practitioner can help troubleshoot during your initial consult.)
How long does a session last?
tVisits are available in 30-, 45- or 60-minute sessions. During the session, your Clarke practitioner will guide your family or student to apply effective strategies that promote their LSL development.
For a free consultation or to learn more, contact email@example.com or 855.203.7085.
Nimble & Responsive Support for Older Students
With tVisit services available for children in mainstream setting as well—many of whom are older and working directly with Clarke experts—students have the opportunity to learn how to advocate for themselves in real-world situations. Sessions provide space to discuss the social-emotional factors at play for students with hearing loss.
Elizabeth notes that Josie has been able to discuss and troubleshoot difficult scenarios with her Clarke teacher of the deaf in tVisit sessions.
“What I think is most important… is that Josie’s been able to say, ‘oh this happened, and it was hard,’” says Elizabeth. “Then her teacher of the deaf pivots to address that, and we get updates about how the sessions are going, what was covered and why it was covered.”
Fostering self-confidence and social-emotional competence is key to supporting students as they progress and learn to rely less and less on their family’s involvement and intervention. With tVisit services available to children of all ages, the right type of virtual LSL support is now within reach at each stage along the way.