Green Baby

CID serves children from birth to age 12 in our family center, pre-k/ kindergarten and primary programs. Our teachers weave speech, listening and language instruction throughout the academic curriculum to prepare students to succeed in general educational settings with their peers who have typical hearing.

Our teachers help children develop literacy, natural language and social skills as part of a program emphasizing the whole child.

Our highly individualized, comprehensive program meets children’s needs and gives them a solid foundation for success. Many CID graduates attend college and pursue professional careers.

FAQs for Parents

See also General FAQsFAQs for Professionals and  FAQs for Mainstream Teachers

  • My child was just diagnosed with a hearing loss. How can I find resources available to me and my baby?

    There are publicly provided services mandated by law to help your baby and your family. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires each state to provide early intervention services.  How and what each state provides varies. An overview of the law, often called IDEA Part C and links to resources to help you find services available for you and your baby, is available through the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
  • Why is it important for a deaf child to learn to talk?

    Today’s hearing technologies, early intervention and targeted, individualized teaching methods make it possible for most children who are deaf and hard of hearing to listen, talk, read and participate socially and academically in regular education classrooms. Learning spoken language is important to learning to read and forms the basis for academic success.
  • How do you teach children to read if you can’t use phonics?

    We do use phonics and phonological awareness. Our pediatric audiologists ensure the students have optimal access to auditory information from their hearing aids and/or cochlear implants. We teach our children to read using all of the same methods, strategies and curricula used to teach hearing children to read.

  • How do you teach deaf children to talk?

    Unlike most schools for the deaf, CID teaches children how to listen and talk without using sign language. Instruction takes place in small classes of 2 to 5 children grouped for their ability in speech and language. Constant interaction and activities give the students practice listening and talking. Students receive direct instruction in listening, language and speech that provides repeated practice opportunities. Then, students participate in lessons that enable hem to integrate new skills and practice them through conversational activities. During every activity, the teacher monitors each child’s listening, speech, language and comprehension skills. Evaluation takes place during and after every lesson to assess how each student is progressing toward his or her goals, which change at the rate at which that child experiences success.
  • How do you give deaf children the skills they need to succeed in school with their hearing peers?

    CID teachers use specialized tools for determining and targeting a variety of goals (see also FAQs for Professionals). At the preschool level, activities are play-based and theme-related. Daily individualized goals target emerging literacy skills, typical childhood development and pragmatic social skills in addition to speech, language and listening. After age 5, academics come into play. We pay special attention to teaching the language involved in understanding math, science and social studies as we continue to attend to our students’ speech and social skills. We have a strong focus on developing reading skills, which are especially difficult for many children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We incorporate children’s literature into our program liberally and offer highly intensive remedial help to any child who needs it. Finally, we use curricula from the mainstream and offer a variety of special activities and classes, including art, drama, music, physical education and computer instruction, to fully prepare the children to participate and succeed in their neighborhood schools.
  • How long would my child attend CID?

    Every child develops skills at his or her own rate. Our goal is to get children out into their local schools as soon as possible. For some children, a good time to mainstream is when their language level is equal to that of peers with whom they will work in the same classroom. For older children, we also look at reading skills. We like their reading skills to be at the same level as those of their classmates. We work closely with families to ensure they know our recommendations and that any placement is a team decision. If needed, support is available for children when they enter the public school system.

  • If my child were a candidate for the CID school, how much would it cost for him to attend?

    Generous annual support from the community currently makes it possible for the CID school to accept eligible hearing-impaired school candidates regardless of a family’s financial situation. We offer significant financial aid opportunities for families. Please see Tuition and Financial Aid.
  • Is there an agency that can help pay for hearing aids?

    Missouri and Illinois both have early intervention systems that will help with all assistive technology needed for a child to achieve outcomes. Some insurance companies have paid for a portion of hearing aid costs, with the remainder billed through state early intervention programs. Many of the Medicaid programs provide appropriate hearing aids, and several other agencies also may help. CID audiologists and Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center staff can answer other questions about that first pair of hearing aids. If your child needs a second set of hearing aids, you should contact the HIKE Fund and your local Variety Club. Insurance companies should always be encouraged to pay. Many states are putting out mandates, but this varies from state to state. If your child is a CID student, our audiology staff can help your family explore the options.
  • Sometimes my child seems to hear without hearing aids. Do you really think he needs them?

    Children who are deaf or hard of hearing sometimes may detect sounds without their hearing aids because they have what’s called “residual” hearing. It’s important to remember that these children have access to more sounds with their hearing aids on than they do with them off. They need to hear all of the sounds that make up speech in order to include them in their spoken language. Access to all sounds, at every possible waking moment, will give your child the best opportunity to develop speech and spoken language without omitting certain sounds they cannot hear without their hearing aids.
  • I don’t think my child is getting what he or she needs in school. What should we do?

    You can reconvene an Individualized Educational Plan (bring the IEP team together to reassess the plan for your child). It’s sometimes wise to bring someone with you, a friend who can be a second set of ears or an advocate who knows the law. Public schools are mandated to provide an appropriate education for your child. You may contact CID’s assessment and admissions coordinator, Andrea Osman, to ask questions about what CID offers.
  • My child’s teacher or school administrator has no experience with students with hearing loss. What can I do?

    Along with several listening and spoken language schools and university graduate teacher training programs in Missouri, CID helped develop four lists of basic facts about hearing impairment for school administrators and teachers serving students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Please feel free to print the pdf documents at Facts and Resources for Mainstream Teachers and give them to your child’s teacher if you think it will help.

    We know this is only a start. Teachers from across the country also attend CID listening and spoken language workshops. Your child’s teacher may want to pursue continuing education at a CID workshop in St. Louis or other workshop listed on the Missouri Resources document. CID also offers a variety of professional outreach programs including guided observations and consulting services.  Your child’s teacher or school administer may want to  contact Ann Holmes at 314.977.0159 for more information regarding professional development opportunities. Your local public school district or school for children who are deaf and hard of hearing may also offer resources for mainstream teachers who have a child who is deaf or hard of hearing in their classroom.

  • Do you provide transportation for your students?

    CID does not provide our students transportation to and from school. If your child is receiving services through a public school contract, the school district may transport your child or reimburse you for travel expenses. If your child is coming to CID through early intervention, Missouri or Illinois will reimburse mileage, but will not provide transportation. You will need to apply and get approval from the early intervention system before any reimbursement can be obtained.
  • Do you have a dorm?

    No. We closed our residential program several years ago; however, some families choose to move to the St. Louis area so their children can attend. Please contact our admissions coordinator, Andrea Osman, for help and support in this process.
  • Where can I learn the basics about hearing loss and children?

    For an excellent list of FAQs on hearing loss and children, visit OptionSchools.
  • My child has a cochlear implant or we are considering one. In addition to my child’s audiologist and doctor, what are good resources?

    All of the cochlear implant manufacturers offer excellent information about their devices. To connect with other parents who have children with cochlear implants, we highly recommend cicircle.org.
  • Where can I learn about legal rights and advocacy for my child?

    We recommend the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for parents who seek this kind of information. Find out if this organization has a chapter where you live.