Transitions: The Path to Preschool

The first in a series about the LSL journey and transitioning your child who is deaf or hard of hearing from early intervention to early education.

It’s a familiar scene: a small child boarding the big yellow school bus and waving goodbye to a mom or dad on the sidewalk below — each doing their best not to cry.
The bitter sweetness of that moment is easy to imagine. Most every parent experiences mixed feelings of happiness and heartache when it’s time for school to begin. For the parents of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, it is no different — even if the journey had some unique twists and turns along the way, like the identification of hearing loss, years of early intervention and grappling with choices around preschool.
The emotional nature of the school bus moment has nothing on the hours spent wrestling with which preschool is the right choice — or when it’s the right time to start. These feel like high stakes decisions! It’s natural to get very attached to your first early interventionist or Listening and Spoken Language service provider. We are often so grateful for those dedicated professionals that it’s natural to fear that successes or gains to date are because of their work (perhaps even mistakenly discounting your own effort). Knowing when to put your child in the care of a preschool program is tough. The transition to preschool is more than a rite of passage — it’s a process that triggers parents to ask questions like:

  • Do we dare leave the caregivers we’re comfortable with?
  • Is staying where we are even an option?
  • Is it time to start school?
  • Better to keep them home another year?  
  • Will my child be behind their hearing peers?
  • What’s the best school for my child?
  • How do we prepare them for that experience?
  • How do we equip teachers to understand and meet their unique needs?

In this series, we will address some of the key questions parents ask about transitions. It is important to remember that you are the one who has walked the LSL journey with your child. You know them best and in partnership with your LSL interventionist, there are important developmental progress discussions that will help you make decisions. It may also be time for a full evaluation to give you more information.

The Transitions section of our website might be a first start. There we share about different types of transitions, strategies for successful transitions and provide helpful links if you are needed to participate in an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for your child.
Consult with your LSL interventionists to support you in your decisions about transitioning to school.