Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

Submission Type



Infants and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) are unique in their physical and individual abilities and resources. Their diversity extends beyond hearing levels and involves physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and communicative attributes. Families with newly identified children have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences that influence how they respond to learning that their child is DHH and what they need from professionals in the first few days and months after their baby has been identified. While knowledge and skills generic to the field of early childhood special education provide a foundation for working with these children and their families, there are specialized areas of expertise that are beyond the scope of practice of generically prepared practitioners that are critical to the successful outcomes of infants and toddlers who are DHH. This article will address the areas of professional competencies that are meant to result in positive outcomes for young children who are DHH and their families and how this specialized expertise can be acquired.