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Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Apr 16, 2020

Episode 31: Hearing Loss And Achieving Your Fullest Potential With Guest Theresa Harp

In this episode, we discuss learning helping your child learn language when they have hearing loss, as well as helping your child to achieve their fullest potential. When guest Theresa Harp was about 10 years old, her brother was born, who was later diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. When he was in elementary school, he began to experience hearing loss. This coincided with Theresa's college years and her coursework in speech therapy and audiology. This helped guide her to her career in speech therapy with children who have hearing loss.

With kids, she works with American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken language, although this depends on what the family wants to focus on. This can change as the child's strengths and needs change. Each family is different; some focus only on ASL, some focus only on spoken language, and some choose to use a blend of both. The goal is to make sure that whatever approach the family chooses, that the family can communicate with the child and that the child can communicate with the family. Sessions typically look like playtime, and family is always included in sessions. Sessions are flexible and dependent on what the needs of the child and family are that week. The approach is different for each family, because each family is at a different phase of grief, and each family has different needs at different points in time.

To reach the child's fullest potential, Theresa asks parents how they envision their child's life 5 and 20 years from now and what their goals might be. Theresa educates the families on what that child's potential could be, and gaining social supports of other parents in the same situation helps as well. Theresa has noticed that social support has been key for these families, including Facebook groups. It is important to know that you can work on language development very very early on, including talking and/or signing to you baby, using language well, and using language often. Speech therapy strategies can be easily implemented into daily life, without having to have tons of timeout of your schedule.


Theresa Harp

Signing Time Videos

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Show Music:
Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple

Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2020 Jessica and Lewis Temple