Raising a child who is deaf of hard of hearing is no simple task, but with the right team assembled it can be easier. Beginnings SC is here to help parents do just that; build their child’s best team and ensure that team works together to achieve the best possible outcomes for their children. We are a unique organization that uses expertise and experience to drive our work with families and their communities.
We start by joining you on your journey at the time a referral is made, and we stand/stay with you through your child's 21st birthday. By providing emotional support and unbiased education Beginnings SC works with you to create an individualized plan specific to your child’s needs. We then help connect you with quality resources throughout your community that will add to the value of your child’s team and promote their success. As the needs of your child change, Beginnings will be there to help you revisit your individualized goals, and support you and your team as you work to achieve them. Knowing that each child is impacted differently by hearing loss, we also work with your team to increase their understanding of your child’s specific diagnosis and enhance the services they provide.
While you’re focused on building and working with your team, Beginnings also implements changes at a broader level. Working with childcare centers to screen, identify, and connect families to professional resources we venture to lessen the number of deaf or hard of hearing children that go unserved in South Carolina. Attending and hosting professional development workshops and trainings, we provide knowledge about hearing loss and how to effectively serve those who are diagnosed. We also serve on committees and travel throughout the state to ensure that those who are building South Carolina’s future do so in a way that promotes inclusion and access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
At Beginnings SC believe that every child who is deaf or hard of hearing in South Carolina has the right and the ability to reach the stars, and we’re here to help you build a team that does too!
2020 Back to School Bash Presentations
In 2020 our annual Back to School Bash went virtual! We hosted five presentations and several vendor commercials for deaf and hard of hearing families. Watch the full bash or the individual presentations including "Teaching D/HH Children Virtually" from Mariann Carter, and "Raising the Bar for D/HH Children from the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department.
ABC Parent Coaching
Lisa Jolly, one of our Parent Education Specialists, also serves as an ABC Parent Coach. She currently has openings for Beginnings SC families to receive free coaching. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) is a 10-session in-home parent coaching program, where a parent coach comes into the home to support caregivers in understanding and responding to their infants and toddlers needs. In every session you will hear about the positive things you are doing with your baby. At the end of the program you will receive a special gift - a set of video clips of you and your child playing together in the ABC program. View the ABC informational brochure and the promotional flyer.
If you're interested in receiving ABC parent coaching from Lisa, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASL Office Hours
Our Deaf Advocacy Specialist Matt Gatlin has open ASL Office Hours every Tuesday from noon-2 p.m. on Zoom. Matt is available during that time for an open chat with parents. Some topic ideas range from his personal experience growing up deaf and hard of hearing, the importance of language, communication access information, and teaching parents some ASL.
There will be some weeks when office hours may be closed, but we'll post those dates on our Facebook page in advance. We hope you'll make time to meet Matt and take advantage of this opportunity!
Click here to join Matt's Office Hours Zoom.
Meeting ID: 940 3043 6814
Beginnings Buzz Newsletter
Stay in the know with what's happening with Beginnings, see upcoming events, get the latest resources, and more when you sign up for Beginnings SC's monthly newsletter!
Books with Beginnings
Check out our playlist of ASL storytelling!
Here is a great resource to have as back to school time starts. Children learn language by hearing and/or seeing language throughout the day. You play an important part in your child’s overall development, especially for building language and communication. We created this communication considerations document for parents.
Communication/Language-Focused IEPs for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Here are some questions to talk about with your child's IEP team to make sure his or her communication needs are being properly addressed.
COVID-19 Resources For D/HH Families
We've complied a list of resources for D/HH families related to COVID-19. Many of these are D/HH-specific, but some may pertain to non-D/HH folks.
FM System Simulation
Watch this simulation of what speech sounds like when recorded first through a hearing aid, and then through a personal FM system linked to the hearing aid. The demonstration takes place in an empty classroom while the presenter walks toward and away from the "listener" and while competing voices are played in background.
Language Development Milestones
These Language Milestones were developed to help track language growth for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing, birth to five years of age. (From the California Department of Education)
8 Tips for a Smooth IEP/504 Meeting
Here are 8 tips to plan for a smooth IEP or 504 meeting. Remember: You are your child's best advocate!
Topic Tuesday Recordings
Beginnings SC and SC Hands & Voices partnered together to host webinars on topics for families of deaf & hard of hearing families every third Tuesday of the month. These are the recordings of each Topic Tuesday. For privacy purposes, the Q&A portions were edited out.
We provide services to families and professionals around South Carolina. Beginnings SC is shining light on the impacts of hearing loss on children and their families. We are making the invisible visible.
While SC, and the nation, have tremendously improved identification of children through the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program, the incidence of babies born with hearing loss is only 1 in every 1,000 births. However, when we look at children aged 1-6 the incidence increases to 6 in 1,000 and then increases again for school-aged children to 10 per 100. There are many reasons for these increases. One is that some types of hearing loss are progressive and are not present at birth; many syndromes cause progressive loss. Another cause is an injury causing hearing loss, an illness such as meningitis, or even chronic otitis media. Many states are incorporating more frequent hearing screenings, such as at each well visit between birth and age 5, and recognizing that this allows for more children to be identified at earlier ages.