HELPING YOUR CHILD LEARN TO TALK
Each year in June, The Moog Center for Deaf Education hosts a unique summer experience for families. The Moog Center Parent Workshop offers families of young children with hearing loss the opportunity to come to a single location and, in 3 1/2 days, receive education, connection, support and resources, in addition to the fun St. Louis has to offer.
This year, 14 families from across the United States participated in the workshop. Many came with spouses, grandparents, siblings and others significant in their child's life. The children, ranging in age from 7 months to 5 years, received daily instruction from Moog Center teachers, while the parents attended meetings designed to share information, connect them to each other and to Moog Center resources, provide opportunities to learn and practice techniques, and address questions on a variety of topics. The parent program included presentations by Betsy Moog Brooks, Jean Sachar Moog and pediatric audiologists Valerie Sonneveldt and Amy Birath. Group sessions also included panel presentations with alumni and mothers, giving the families an opportunity to glimpse into the future and see what is possible for their children. The alumni and the moms presented a clear picture of achievement, and hope for a bright future; as one mom explained, "...you can see the magic."
The highlight for many families was the hands-on experience of individual real-time embedded coaching sessions. Parents were given the opportunity to work with their child, while receiving direction from a Moog Center coach. Jennifer, mother of 2 year old Hannah from New York, found the coaching sessions to be "eye-opening", seeing opportunities for language that she hadn't thought about before. In addition, parents participated in individual meetings with a staff member on a topic of their choice.
Many of the families who attended the workshop came from areas where resources for developing spoken language are scarce. For some, this was the first opportunity they had to spend time with other families who share a common experience, and to gain access to support from experienced professionals. As Lissa, mother of 16 month old Abram from Wisconsin, put it, [I came because I want] "to do the best that I can do for [my child] so he can be the best that he can be."
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"It has been amazing being at the Moog [Center] for this workshop…it has open[ed] up many doors of opportunity for me in helping kids…[with] hearing loss." --Kaweeni S., Nanny
"The coaching session provided me with an example of what I can do with...[my child.]" --Sarah R., Parent
Moog Center's Parent Workshop - We're in Love! --Lily's Dad
Thank you for the workshop! I wish every family could be offered a workshop like this. Very well organized and the coaching sessions were extremely valuable for us. Audiology talkes were very well explained and the information very helpful --Amy, Parent