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Infant Development Program
PCOE Public Facing Web Site





The Infant Development Program provides early intervention supports and services to families through visits in the home, the community or where the family spends their day. The Infant Program intervention team works together with the family and child to assist the child’s development and learning in their natural daily activities and builds on the next steps in the child’s learning. Services and supports are designed to assist the parent to understand their child’s development and how to facilitate their child’s development.​

About the Program

​The PCOE Infant Development Program provides family-centered, relationship-based early intervention services designed to build upon and provide supports and services to assist parents to enhance their child’s development within the context of the family’s everyday learning opportunities.


  • Enhance the development of infants and toddlers within everyday family activities that engage the caregiver/child dyad in their interests, and also provide learning opportunities for the child to practice existing abilities, learn new abilities and explore their social and nonsocial surroundings.

  • Build upon the capacity of the family to understand and foster their child’s development by supporting the families’ competence and confidence.

  • ​Support and encourage parent engagement with their children to build responsive, positive relationships.​


 Eligibility Criteria

​Developmental Delay

A developmental delay exists if there is a significant difference between the infant or toddler's current level of functioning and the expected level of development for his or her age in one or more of the following developmental areas:

  • ​Cognitive
  • Physical: including fine and gross motor, vision and hearing
  • Communication
  • Social or emotional
  • Adaptive

Early Start defines eligibility due to a developmental delay as a 33 percent delay in one developmental area before 24 months of age, or at 24 months of age or older, either a delay of 50 percent in one developmental area or a 33 percent delay in two or more developmental areas. The age for use in the determination of eligibility due to a developmental delay for Early Start shall be the age of the infant or toddler on the date of the initial referral to the Early Start program.

Established Risk

  • An established risk condition exists when an infant or toddler has a condition of known etiology which has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay or:
  • ​An established risk condition exists when an infant or toddler has a solely low incidence disability: hearing loss, visional impairment, combination of hearing and vision impairment or orthopedic impairment.

 DHH for Infants and Toddlers

​The PCOE Infant Program provides family-centered, relationship-based early intervention services and supports to infants and toddlers who have hearing loss and their families within the family’s natural environments.  Through information, coaching and modeling, parents become the primary facilitators of their child’s language development.  Services and supports are developed through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) with consideration of:

  • The whole child

  • Strengths and needs in all areas of development

  • Parents have the greatest influence on their child's development

  • Building a strong language foundation

  • The family's resources, concerns and priorities

  • Learning styles

  • Unique circumstances and needs while promoting the child's development within this sensitive period which is critical for development

  • Degree of hearing loss

  • Amplification use

  • Auditory accessibility

  • Educational approaches and language opportunities

  • Parent support opportunities

  • Any additional needs of the child and/or family​​

​Through education and information on best practices, current research and technology, the Infant Program supports families in making an unbiased, informed decision on a communication modality/s, also referenced as educational approaches, for their Deaf or hard of hearing child.  Services offered are comprehensive, individualized and based on family and child functional outcomes developed by the family and intervention staff as the IFSP team. Throughout intervention, families are supported and provided information to assist in promoting optimal development, language and learning.

​Educational Approaches, Language Opportunities and Curriculum

​The Infant Program focuses on the child and family’s needs and communication opportunities.  Each child is unique with his/her own learning style, strengths and abilities.  The curriculum focuses on communication opportunities and language development, offering approaches including but not limited to:

  • ​​​Listening and spoken language/Auditory-Oral 

  • Total Communication, Simultaneous Communication 

  • ASL/English Bilingual, Bilingual-Bicultural​

​​Curriculum utilized is based on a child’s individual needs and includes, but is not limited to: 

  • ​The Ski*Curriculum - offering research based information on a variety of topics related to infant/toddler development, hearing loss, amplification (hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM systems, etc.), Deaf Culture, listening and auditory development, the natural environment, learning throughout daily routines, early literacy, play and visual communication.
  • ​Talk around the clock - an oral/aural approach based on natural interactions that take place during the daily routines of children and families.

  • Listening games for Littles - activities for children with cochlear implants.

  • AusPlan - manual to support auditory skills, speech, articulation and language.

  • ​Cochlear Americas - listening activities.

  • Developmentally appropriate intervention strategies


Service design is based on multiple research findings; a few are listed here:

  • ​The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (2007). Year 2007 Position statement; Principles and guidelines for early hearing detection and intervention programs.  Pediatrics, 120(4), 898-921 states that Infants with mild-to-profound hearing loss who receive appropriate early intervention in the first 6 months of life have been found to demonstrate significantly better vocabulary, receptive and expressive language, syntax, speech production, and social-emotional development than those identified later.  Children with hearing loss who receive EI within the first year of life have been shown to have language development within the normal range at 5 years of age. 

  • ​The development of listening and spoken language skills is now attainable for the vast majority of infants/children who are D/HH when they are identified early and provided with early and appropriate EI services beginning with fitting of amplification that ensures audibility across the speech spectrum of the native spoken language (Yoshinaga-Itano & Sedey, 2000.

  • ​Parental responsiveness has been identified as the primary characteristic that influences children’s communication development (Bornstein, Tamis-LeMonda & Haynes, 1999; Hoff-Ginsberg & Shatz, 1982.

  • ​Early development is best supported when services are provided in the child’s home or in community places or programs where young children play (Dunst, C. (2006).  Parent mediated everyday child learning opportunities:  I foundations and operationalization (CASEinPoint, 2(2))

  • ​Warm and responsive early care helps babies thrive and plays a vital role in healthy development. A child's capacity to control her own emotional state appears to hinge on biological systems shaped by her early experiences and attachments. A strong, secure attachment to a nurturing adult can have a protective biological function, helping a growing child withstand the ordinary stress of daily life. Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development by Families and Work Institute, 1996

  • ​“A child can best learn language with those with whom he or she spends the most amount of time, those with whom the young child has the strongest social and emotional bond and reasons for communicating. In this example, services should support parents in their efforts to enhance their child’s language acquisition and use. To support a child’s development, early intervention should focus on supporting parent’s competence and confidence to increase the child's learning and participation in daily life (Bruder & Dunst, 2000).”  A Relationship- Based Approach to Early Intervention , L. Edelman,  2004


​The PCOE Infant Program offers comprehensive educational services to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing infants and toddlers and their families. These services are provided in the family’s natural environment where their children participate, learn and develop in the context of their everyday relationships, routines, activities and places.  The PCOE infant program recognizes that families play a crucial role in facilitating their child’s development.  Infant Program staff work with the parent(s) and child together to facilitate their child’s development and to assist the parent in understanding their child’s development and intervention strategies.

These services include but are not limited to individualized:

  • ​Special Instruction per qualified credentialed staff (credentialed Teacher of the Deaf)

  • Speech therapy and auditory training

  • Auditory training by an Educational Audiologist

  • Service Coordination

  • ​Additional therapies/services available if determined necessary, i.e.:

      • Occupational Therapy, physical therapy, feeding therapy, vision services

      • Team visits and consultations available from full Infant Program Staff

      • Parent and child learning groups.  (PALS) Parents and children with hearing loss and community peers and parents for either a listening and spoken language  approach,  or total communication/sim-com approach or opportunities for both

      • Parent/child community playgroups and classes.  Staff join parents in accessing their community activities throughout the week

      • Parent support and information classes

Parent and Child Learning Group

​Playgroup for Auditory Learning and Speech (PALS) is available to families in our DHOH program who’s child would benefit from a group setting with like peers (other children with hearing aids, cochlear implants and who may or may not use sign language). Taught and overseen by a certified Teacher of the Deaf, the class is also staffed with an Early Childhood Special Educator, a Speech Language Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist, a Music Teacher and an Educational Audiologist.  The focus is language, learning and early literacy. Each child accesses language differently so at times, spoken language will be presented along with sign language. At other times, communication will be auditory-oral only, for families who prefer an auditory-only environment. Parents assist their child with the learning activities along with the staff.  This group is also a “Community” play group which includes typical hearing peers and their parents and Deaf adult role models. The group also offers a great opportunity for parent to parent support.  The group meets twice a week at Olive Ranch School.

​Below you'll find the agendas during these bi-weekly meetings:


10:15 – 10:25   Arrive – Free Play/Explore
10:25 – 10:40   Welcome Song and Early Literacy Circle Time (ASL story)
10:40 – 11:00   Language Development Center Activities (based on each month’s theme and book)
11:00 –            Auditory-Oral, Friends arrive
11:00 – 11:15   Listening and Spoken Language Circle
11:15 – 11:30   Oral motor snack time
11:30 –            Goodbye song to our Signing friends
11:30 – 11:45   Auditory Only Early Literacy Circle Time
11:45 – 12:00   Auditory- Oral language development center activities
12:00 –            Goodbye Friends


​10:15 – 10:20  Free Play/Explore
10:20 – 10:55  Music with My Friends – Spee​ch and Language based music program
10:55 – 10:05  Language Development center activities
11:05 – 11:20  Listening and Spoken Language Circle
11:20 – 11:30  Oral motor snack
11:30 –           Goodbye Signing friends
11:30 – 11:45  Auditory-Oral Early Literacy Circle time
11:45 – 12:00  Auditory-Oral Vocabulary development center activities

​Parent Support and Information Group

Once a month, a guest speaker will present on a topic related to child development, hearing loss, language development, Deaf community or other relevant topics.  This is a time for parents to connect with one another, learn from one another and from professionals or exper​ts on varies relevant topics.

 Supports and Services

Services are provided with consideration of:

  • ​A family-centered approach, acknowledging the uniqueness of each family while strengthening what is already happening in everyday activities and building on ways families help their child learn. The early intervention staff will coach the family in ways to assist their child's development based on what the family is already doing during their daily activities, what happens during the school day, and at what times and activities support is needed​

  • ​A relationship based approach by providing intervention within the parent/child relationship which is known to have the greatest results. The intervention strategies will build on everyday routines and activities and give the family the tools and what are the next steps to do in a daily activity to facilitate development

  • ​A Transdisciplinary team approach to provide the family and child access to a team of highly trained intervention staff who then collaborate on intervention strategies;The family's resources, concerns and priorities about their child and their family in relationship to their child's development, the developmental strengths and needs of the child, and the functional outcomes development

  • ​Providing meaningful support to parents

  • ​How young children learn:

    • ​​All day, every day

    • With lots of practice to learn their skills

    • When they are interested and engaged in their daily learning activities

    • Through everyday experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar contexts

    • When they are planning and interacting with family members and toys - these are tools for learning

    • Where they will be using skills in the activities of everyday life will performing their daily routines

    • When parents and interventionists work together and share ideas about how to support and extend the child's learning

​Assessment and the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

​Developmental assessments are provided in gross motor, fine motor, vision, hearing, cognitive, language, social-emotional and adaptive domains. An Individualized Family Service Plan outlines the child’s strengths and needs, the family’s resources, concerns and priorities for their child’s development and family in relation to their child’s development, functional outcomes and services and supports.

Services in the Natural Environment

​Young children learn from their family and from their interactions and play throughout their day in their everyday routines and activities.

Intervention is provided in everyday family and community activity settings which provide children educational learning experiences and opportunities that strengthen and promote child competence and development.  Educational activities are practiced in a variety of family and community settings.

Benefits of providing services within the family’s natural routines are that:


  • ​​The parent will know how they can assist their child's development and learning throughout the day/week/month within their daily learning opportunities

  • ​The parent will understand what is working for the parent and child throughout the day and where are the struggles

  • The parent will understand which natural daily routines can be learning opportunities

  • Parents and interventionists work together with the child in the intervention activity and will discuss and demonstrate what are the next steps for the child's development

  • Parents will identify what information and support may be helpful

  • Together the service providers and parents will talk about how to make the most of opportunities that already occur during their day

  • Services will strengthen what is already happening in everyday activities and ways parents are helping their child learn

  • Participation and interaction in daily routines facilitates child growth and development across developmental domains


Intervention is provided by a Transdisciplinary team highly qualified in the fields of early childhood special education, child development, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hearing, vision, assistive technology.

​Transition Services

​A transition plan is developed to assist children transitioning from infant to preschool services at 2 1/2 years of age.​




Students are taught in district general education settings, charter school programs, district special education programs, county special education programs, Home Hospital Instruction (HHI), or in the PCOE Regional DHH program.​​​​​


PCOE has a department focused on providing a wide variety of assistive technology devices to help children excel on an academic and personal level. From adaptive desks to special computer software, we have the tools your child deserves.​



PCOE offers amazing support and services for infants with disabilities. Our team works with the family to establish the proper development of their child. Our relationship-based approach guides children and parents through normal everyday activities, and ensures they're ready for the next phase of development.​​

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    "One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world"​

    ​-Malala Yousafzai