View Full Version : Did your kids get DTH through EI?

04-12-2009, 07:34 AM
Just wondering how many of your kids who can not vocalize because of the trache got a developmental therapists for the hearing impaired (DTH) to provide sign language, or was the sign language just taught by other therapists who knew sign?

Here's our story:

From the beginning, I stressed one of our concerns for Tommy is learning to communicate using sign language. I tried to stress I want a specialist who is trained in sign language. Our EI team kept trying to say OT/PT/Speech were trained in sign language. I asked for their credentials. Not one of them really had any. They might of said they took a class, but where were the credentials? Where is the experience? :confused: They might have picked up a few signs here or there or taken a baby signing class, but this was going to be my son's main communication! I wanted someone experienced!

After 6 months at home, and me still complaining about wanting someone with experience, our EI coordinator said that would be a Developmental Therapist for the Hearing Impaired (DTH). This is the title given to those in our neck of the woods who actually have taken signing classes, work with signing on a regular basis, and communicate with the hearing impaired, and while Tommy can hear just fine, he needs to sign to communicate and to build his language skills for the rest of his life and do it with accuracy. The DTH had to be creative in coming up with a billing code since Tommy wasn't hearing impaired, but our EI team did find a way to get Tommy a DTH. Then after about 6 months of Tommy getting DTH (keep in mind he had always got DT), our EI team tried to remove the regular DT stating that DTH and DT were the same. I disagreed. DT does the developmental "fun/play" stuff, and the DTH's one hour, once a week, spends her time trying to teach me one kiddy song/child's book in sign language for the entire hour. I need that entire hour just to learn the signs. We don't have time for "play"! Our coordinator & all the other therapists wanted to remove the DT, I would NOT sign Tommy's IFSP! I asked for a 3rd party mediator, but instead the Coordinator's boss and all the therapists came to another meeting. At this meeting, only the DT & us parents argued in favor of keeping both DT & DTH. Needless to say, we got our way without having to get a 3rd party mediator.

When the DTH started, we noticed several differences in what our other therapists were using as signs vs. what the DTH was using. (For example: toilet vs. toy, yellow vs. play). We had to re-learn a lot, but now Tommy teaches the therapists what the DTH teaches us:D

We are so glad we advocated for Tommy to get DTH.

04-12-2009, 10:48 AM
That is wonderful! I never knew this kind of therapist existed, although now it makes perfect sense why. We requested an ST trained in ASL. It took us forever to get one, then when we did, we only got to have ST 3 times before he was put in the hospital the last month of his life.

04-12-2009, 08:48 PM
Since Ayden is hearing impaired, we have always had therapists who are fluent in sign. Both of our therapists didn't go to school, instead they had family members who were deaf. In the case of an IEP, we were told that Ayden should receive instruction and therapy in the child's mode of communication (which I am sure you know). Just b/c Tommy isn't hard of hearing, shouldn't disqualify him from receiving therapy and communation assistance in sign language.

Here is a great site I found w/ ASL to practice... it's pretty cool! http://www.lifeprint.com/

I am glad you are able to get assistance....

04-13-2009, 08:42 AM
I think I'm filing this away for future reference while we try to get Alexander's therapies set up.

I'm teaching Alexander signs, starting from the signing-for-babies sort of books and videos, but unless they're going to pay for one of us to take real signing classes, we are going to need someone more experienced than me.

04-13-2009, 07:01 PM
Austin is also hearing impaired so we have had ASL signing teachers thru EI since he was 6 months old. Once they tried to pass off a SLP as a DHH teacher, but I found another vendor. I am glad it is working for you.

04-13-2009, 08:48 PM
We just use the ST to teach us the signs. She has a deaf family member so she is really good at signing and teaching us all the different ways people sign like ASL and slang signing. She said Autumn may even make up her own signs for words and that's okay as well. She gives both my kids and I lessons once a month when she comes over for ST. The book Signing Exact English has really helped us--in fact my 10 year old reads the book and then teaches me the signs. :) It's been a fun family thing we are doing together.

04-14-2009, 08:31 PM
We did get a sign language teacher from the School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, when they thought Jacob was profoundly deaf. I am not sure we would have been approved, if he did not have hearing loss issues and just the trach.:confused: