CID’s mission is to teach children who are deaf and hard of hearing to listen, talk, read and succeed. We partner with families and collaborate with universities, educators and other professionals worldwide to help children communicate and achieve to their fullest potential. CID serves children from birth to age 12 in its family center, pre-k and primary programs. CID teachers weave speech, listening and language instruction throughout the academic curriculum to prepare students for work in general educational settings, or “the mainstream.” Literacy, natural language and social skills are also developed as part of a CID program emphasizing the whole child. Our highly individualized, comprehensive program meets children’s needs and gives them a solid foundation for success. CID graduates often go to college and pursue professional careers. 

Learn about CID-developed curricula and materials at 

FAQs for Professionals

See also FAQs for ParentsGeneral FAQs and FOR MAINSTREAM TEACHERS

  • What services do you provide for families of babies with hearing loss?

    CID’s early intervention services occur primarily in the home, based on the family’s typical routines. We partner with families to help their children listen and talk. We believe the caregiver is the primary learner in early intervention. We also believe caregivers are experts on the children in their care.

    Early intervention services provided by CID staff are a team effort between provider, caregiver and child. Through coaching, we work to empower parents to make choices that will lead toward fulfilling expectations they have set for their children.

    Communication development is most effectively and efficiently acquired through consistent interactions in the context of a family’s daily routines. We coach the adult learner on ways to enhance their daily interactions with their children. We want families to leave us feeling empowered to confidently make decisions about their child’s educations future. This emphasis on relationship building is, in part, how CID’s approach differs from that of a traditions school or therapy models. We expect mutual respect and participation throughout the process.

  • What type of information do you provide to families during early intervention?

    For families to feel fully empowered to be the best advocates for their child with a hearing loss, they need information in many different areas of development. For more information or questions regarding child development, please contact Dorie Noll.

  • What curricula does CID use in pre-k?

    The CID pre-k has a dual focus: (1) listening, language, and speech and (2) a whole-child developmental curriculum, including strong emphasis on play-based learning and emerging literacy skills. We use the CID-developed TAGS system for assessing and setting language goals, the CID SPICE and CID SPICE for Life curricula for auditory learning, and the CID Speech Skills Worksheet, an assessment and goal-targeting tool based on work by Daniel Ling, PhD. We tailor our approach to match individual students’ abilities – meeting them where they are and moving them up the continuum from the use of single words to the spontaneous use of simple sentences of four words and more to complex sentences. Our whole-child curriculum is pulled from a variety of sources – all based on Developmentally Appropriate Practices set out by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We track skills in all developmental domains – fine motor, gross motor, cognition, social/emotional, pre-academic and early literacy – using the CID Preschool Developmental Checklists for children ages 3, 4 and 5. We also use CID Early Childhood Vocabulary, Speech and Pragmatic Language Rating Forms to track and report progress.  Learn more about the CID pre-k and kindergarten programs.
  • What tests do you use for 3 to 4-1/2 year olds?

    Our goal is to mainstream students in their local schools as soon as possible. The tests we use are standardized on children with typical hearing, so results for the children who are deaf and hard of hearing can be compared to results achieved by children with typical hearing the same age. This comparison gives us a clear picture of each student’s capabilities.

    Some examples of assessments we use are the PPVT-IV and EVT-2 for vocabulary and the PLS-4, CELF-P2 and CASL for language. For children with lower language levels, we start with vocabulary testing. We use the results of the receptive vocabulary test to select an appropriate language test within the limitations of the child’s receptive vocabulary age.

  • Which assessment tool would you recommend to be used in place of the GAEL?

    The CID GAEL (Grammatical Analysis of Elicited Language) series was normed on children who were deaf and hard of hearing. Our goal is to compare test results for children who are deaf and hard of hearing to those for children with typical hearing to determine when they are ready to participate in mainstream schools. Therefore, we use speech and language assessments standardized on children with typical hearing. Examples include the PPVT-IV and EVT-2 for vocabulary; CELF-Preschool2, CELF-4, PLS-4 and CASL for language and Goldman-Fristoe for speech.
  • What curriculum materials do you use with 6- to 12-year-olds in the primary department?

    For auditory learning, we use both the CID SPICE (Speech Perception Instruction Curriculum and Evaluation) and the CID SPICE for Life. Our syntax curriculum is the CID TAGS (Teacher Assessment of Grammatical Structures).

    For reading, we use the Scott Foresman literature-based series as well as other commercial leveled reading books that are used in St. Louis area schools. Using a commercial text is helpful for preparing the children to work in the mainstream. Several of our teachers are trained to use the SPIRE program (Specialized Program for Individualized Reading Excellence). This program is not designed for students who are deaf and hard of hearing; however, it contains strong components in phonics and phonological awareness that benefit some students. Learn more about the CID primary department.

  • How are the SPICE and SPICE for Life curricula different?

    CID SPICE and CID SPICE for Life target different listening skills.

    CID SPICE (Speech Perception Instructional Curriculum and Evaluation) is used for developing auditory skills in children who are new recipients of cochlear implants and/or hearing aids.

    SPICE activities target development of the following skills:

    • detection of speech
    • perception of the suprasegmental aspects of speech (duration, stress and intonation)
    • vowel and consonant perception
    • comprehension of connected speech (phrases, sentences and conversation)

    The CID SPICE for Life curriculum contains activities useful with children who are deaf or hard of hearing ages 3 and up and targets development of a variety of listening skills:

    • developing auditory memory
    • listening in noisy settings
    • listening to music
    • localizing sounds
    • listening to voices (identify gender, emotion, etc.)
    • listening in conversation
    • listening on the telephone and other media
    • identifying environmental sounds
  • Can I use SPICE for Life with a student who hasn’t completed the SPICE skills?


    In most cases, we recommend using both curricula with these students. This promotes well-balanced auditory development and provides variety for the student. Some SPICE for Life skills, such as developing auditory memory, can also contribute to a student’s learning of language and vocabulary, enabling him or her to continue to make progress in the vowel and consonant perception and connected speech goals of SPICE.

  • How does CID help teachers and SLPs working in mainstream educational settings?

  • What is CID’s relationship with Washington University?

    CID is financially separate from, but closely affiliated with the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (PACS) at Washington University School of Medicine. Our teachers and audiologists serve among the PACS faculty. We also provide practicum experiences for students in these graduate programs training audiologists, scientists and teachers of the deaf. The PACS graduate programs were originally developed at CID through a longstanding relationship with Washington University. The university also continues to administer CID-developed adult clinic and deafness research programs. Together, these programs are known as CID at Washington University School of Medicine. They reside on the same campus with the CID school. The head of the Department of Otolaryngology is a member of the CID board of directors.
  • What resource do you most often recommend for parents needing to learn the basics about hearing loss and children?

    This fact sheet about pediatric hearing loss was developed by OPTIONSchools.

  • Where can I find research-based facts about pediatric hearing loss?

    This fact sheet from ASHA is an extensive summary of results of research on pediatric hearing loss: