Direct Service Providers - Florida
If you have decided that a listening and spoken language outcome is the path you'd like to pursue for your child, you will need a qualified team to help your child achieve that goal.
There are many communication paths that your child with hearing loss can take. Each child and family are unique. Once you review the available options and decide on the outcome and path that best suit your child, you will need to find qualified service providers to give the expert help needed to achieve that outcome.
Most children with hearing loss have the option of learning to communicate using solely listening and spoken language without the need for signed support. With early access to sound and qualified auditory oral/ Listening and Spoken Language services, children are usually ready to enter mainstream classrooms by or before first grade and compete on par academically with typically hearing peers. Many are ready to mainstream as early as preschool. However, the window for developing proficient listening and spoken language skills is a narrow one. There is no time to waste.
Pediatric hearing loss is a neurological emergency. Children's brains are rapidly developing. There is a very limited window of time for children to build the auditory brain for proficient listening and spoken language outcomes. Qualified providers are essential to maximize this brief window.
What qualifications are recommended for auditory oral services and for the strongest listening and spoken language outcomes?
Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) are trained to address a wide range of issues. They must know a little about treating a lot of different challenges throughout a person's lifespan. However, they do not necessarily have the advanced training required to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing use their technology to achieve strong listening and spoken language outcomes. That expertise requires specialized training. Certification as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist is your best indicator that a provider can help your child reach the outcome you have chosen.
Most teacher-training (teacher of the deaf) programs are based on a signing approach. Teachers who want to acquire the skills needed to facilitate children reaching age-appropriate spoken language will also need to pursue advanced degrees from programs that train for this approach as well as to participate in clinical mentoring experiences. Certification as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist is your best indicator that a provider can help your child reach the outcome you have chosen.
You can learn more about the rigorous training and qualifications required to become a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist HERE. While it is possible for a provider to have obtained the necessary post graduate training without having a LSLS certification, LSLS certification verifies that the provider is qualified and proficient in the specific skills needed for helping children with hearing loss who have a goal of a listening and spoken language outcome. Unfortunately, many parents have learned the hard way that professional experience "treating kids " with hearing loss is not equivalent to training in the best practices and skill set needed for the strongest outcomes. With no time to waste, parents have found LSLS certification to be the surest way to locate qualified providers.
The state of Florida recognizes qualified auditory oral schools for children with hearing loss to learn to listen and speak. These programs are defined in state law as "a public or private school located in this state which can teach children who have obtained an implant or assistive hearing device, using faculty certified as Listening and Spoken Language Specialists." These schools are considered a "school of choice" for children with hearing loss who meet qualifications in Florida. Below, you will find information about and links to some of the qualified auditory oral schools and LSLS providers in the state of Florida. If you have any questions or need help connecting with a LSLS provider, please email Contact@DeafKidsCan.org.
If you are looking for qualified services providers for a different communication path, we are happy to help connect you with organizations who can help.
Listening and Spoken Langauge Direct Service Providers in Florida: (Each organization's name is a link.)
Individual LSLS Providers/ Private Clinics - Please reach out for names in your area. There is a real shortage of LSLS qualified providers in Florida, however telepractice services are available throughout the state, and there are some private clinics as well. You can also find a LSLS directory at the link above. Please note that not all of the info in the directory is up to date and some listed providers are not actively seeing patients.
Online Parent Training Resources -
This website and any links are provided for educational purposes NOT medical or legal advice. For those purposes, please consult the appropriately licensed professionals.
The links provided on this website are to resources that parents and professionals have found to be helpful and educational. As the internet is a dynamic and ever changing environment, it is possible that a linked resource could contain information not endorsed by the Coalition. The Coalition stands adamantly opposed to any discrimination or harassment in regard to age, disability, national or ethnic origin, race, religious belief, sex, political affiliation, or otherwise as may be prohibited by federal and state law.
The Coalition is, at its core, supportive of the right of parents and guardians to choose the communication mode best suited to meet the needs of their individual child, recognizing that there are many factors to consider and communication options. In focusing on the particular needs of families pursuing a listening and spoken language option, it is not the Coalition’s position that this is the best option for every child. It is, however, a particular area of need and the one that this not-for profit is organized to support.