The Center for Hearing and Speech is thrilled to announce a new program that prepares deaf children for a world of sound. The Houston RiteCare Infant Program offers newly identified deaf infants an opportunity to receive intensive speech-therapy free of charge until they reach 18 months in age. This enables children to receive immediate intervention, vastly increasing their chance for success in oral communication.
The Houston RiteCare Infant Program was made possible by a partnership with the Houston Scottish Rite Masons. The Scottish Rite Masons have been helping children communicate for over 30 years, and have been national leaders in supporting children with language disorders, regardless of race, creed, color or ability to pay.
Goals of Houston RiteCare Infant Program:
Ensure that all families of hearing-impaired infants have timely access to the most qualified professionals and comprehensive services
Capitalize on the critical time period for developing a deaf child’s listening and speaking skills
Build strong parent-child relationships and strengthen parents’ advocacy skills
The Houston RiteCare Infant Program operates in conjunction with the early identification program Jump Start to Listening! After an infant under 18 months is identified with a hearing loss, the family receives communication options counseling to determine the best option for their child. If the evaluation team ascertains the child as a good candidate, the child will be offered enrollment into the RiteCare program.
After enrollment, each child will receive individualized speech therapy provided by a nationally certified speech-language pathologist specially trained in working with the complex needs of hearing-impaired children or an auditory-verbal therapist. Families will be given literacy tools through the CHS library and access to a parent support group.
After the program is completed and the child is eighteen months old, the therapy team will discuss progress with the family and make educational recommendations including possible enrollment into the Melinda Webb School or a conventional pre-school for hearing children.