Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
Early Intervention

Components of the Early Hearing Detection
and Intervention System in Nebraska

When a child's hearing loss is diagnosed and treated early, he or she can develop language skills like a child without a hearing loss.  Learn More 

Mom holding daughter with Cochlear implants.  Photo courtesy of Cochlear Americas.Early intervention is important because research shows that the first three years are the most important time for learning in a child's life.  Providing developmental supports and services early improves a child's ability to develop and learn.  Also, it may prevent or decrease the need for special education services later on.  The goal of early intervention in Nebraska is to "open a window of opportunity" for families to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential.

Early intervention is an individualized program of services and supports based on the needs of the individual family.  It is a collaborative effort of the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Department of Heath and Human Services.  Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) authorizes the creation of early intervention programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities.  In Nebraska, the Early Development Network (EDN) provides services coordination, at no charge, for eligible families to identify and link with needed services and to work with multiple providers to ensure that services are provided.

The Early Development Network provides services and supports that are designed based on the needs of the children birth to age three and their families with the belief that parents want what is best for their families.  These services are designed to act on what families think is important for their child and family.  EDN is staffed by friendly, supportive people who listen to and respect families.Little boy learning American sign language.

The recommended practices for the primary early intervention activities with the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program are are follows:
  1. Upon receiving a referral, the EDN Services Coordinator immediately contacts the appropriate school district to begin the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) process.
  2. The Services Coordinator contacts the parent(s)/guardian(s) to explain the importance of having a teacher of the deaf involved early and to obtain support for an initial joint meeting with the family.
  3. Upon receiving verbal permission from the parent, the Services Coordinator contacts the Regional Programs for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  The Regional Program Coordinator contacts the school district to determine the appropriate teacher of the deaf to attend the joint meeting of the family.
  4. The NE-EHDI Program is included on the Authorization for Release of Information form.
  5. If the family would like support from organizations for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, the following organizations may be included on the Release of Information form to allow the parents' contact information to be shared: Regional Programs for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, PTI-NE, and Hands and Voices.
  6. A NE-EHDI Program Parent Resource Guide is provided.
NCHAM The impact of HIPAA and FERPA laws on EHDI Programs: Results of a national self-report survey             
The components of a comprehensive EHDI system are outlined by the eight principles of the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing’s Year 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Detection and Intervention Programs.

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