It is important to diagnose a child as deaf or hard of hearing at an early age. An early diagnosis allows the family to use early intervention services to help the child learn language. This article summarizes research about early intervention services with deaf children. Early intervention services can help deaf and hard of hearing children in their first few years of life, starting soon after birth. Children need to learn their first language during infancy and early childhood. If this does not happen, they might never become completely fluent in any spoken, written, or signed language at all. The article explains the best practices used in early intervention services. It is for policy makers, decision makers, and people who design, coordinate, or implement early intervention services.
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