Resource Guide: CHILDREN’S SERVICES
Last Updated; May 14, 2014
1439 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Sanjay Gulati, MD, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Lauren Imperatore, PhD, Team Leader
Provides evaluations, individual, family and marital therapy for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and their families. The Child, Adolescent, and Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Units at Cambridge Health Alliance also have extensive experience in treating deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. American Sign Language and certified deaf interpreting is readily available.
Child Development Services (CDS)
146 State House Station
Burton Cross State Office Building, 5th Floor
Augusta, Maine 04333-0146
TTY Users Call Maine Relay 711
Child Development Services (CDS) is the statewide system responsible for providing services to children ages birth to five (not yet in school) who have disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This program is funded through the federal IDEA. CDS operates nine regional offices throughout the state to arrange and deliver early intervention, special education and other related services to children and their families. CDS will find a consultant who will work with the family to provide services and support to the child and family until the child enters school.
Child Protective Intake-Department of Health and Human Services
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
1-800-452-1999 or 626-8620 (V)
TTY Users Call Maine Relay 711
24-hour hotlines to report child abuse and neglect statewide.
Maine Behavioral Healthcare (formerly Community Counseling Center)
165 Lancaster Street
Portland, ME 04101
Website: Community Counseling Center
For over a decade, Community Counseling Center (now Maine Behavioral Healthcare) has been pleased to offer high-quality mental health and family services to deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and late-deafened children and adults throughout Maine. This highly specialized program offers individual, couples, family and group counseling, and case management services, provided by licensed therapists who are fluent in American Sign Language and English. Our staff is aware of the unique needs and diversity of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. We also offer services to hearing children, siblings, parents, and family members of deaf individuals.
Our counseling services can help individuals and families with:
• Depression and anxiety.
• Acute and chronic mental illness.
• Relationship, couple, and family problems.
• Parenting challenges.
• Behavioral and emotional problems in children.
• Abusive or destructive relationships.
• Sexual and/or physical abuse.
• Separation and/or divorce.
• Loss of loved ones.
• Family crises.
Case Management is a MaineCare-funded service that is designed to support children and adults in identifying and accessing resources and services in their community.
Our case managers can:
• Connect children, adults, elders and their families to natural supports and community resources.
• Coordinate services and streamline communications between multiple providers.
• Facilitate referrals for needed resources.
• Work with individuals to create effective service plans.
Deaf culture-friendly counseling and case management services are available in our Portland office, located in the heart of the Bayside neighborhood. MaineCare, Medicare and most commercial insurance is accepted; self-pay and sliding-fee-scale options are also available.
Kristine Dach, LCPC, MHRT/C, NCC, Program Supervisor/Clinician
207-874-1030 Ext. 272 (V)
Echo Kaply-Smith, LCSW, Clinican
207-874-1030, Ext. 493 (V)
Tony Brucato, Children and Adult Case Manager
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program (DHHP)
Children’s Hospital Boston at Waltham
9 Hope Avenue
Waltham, ME 02453
(781) 216-2210 (TTY)
(781) 216-2215 (V)
(781) 216-2252 (FAX)
The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program is an interdisciplinary clinical and research group within the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Disorders at the Children’s Hospital. The clinical team includes specialists in psychology, audiology, education, medicine, speech and language, psychiatry and communications. DHHP provides comprehensive evaluation and consultative services to deaf and hard of hearing children, their physicians, families and schools. Staff work with children and families from diverse locations and backgrounds covering the full pediatric age spectrum, from infants to teens. DHHP serves as a center for coordination of evaluations, referrals, research, guidance and information for families and agencies.
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Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MECDHH) and Governor Baxter School for the Deaf (GBSD)
David W. Sherry, Executive Director
Joanna Foster, Administrative Assistant
Website: Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MECDHH) and Governor Baxter School for the Deaf (GBSD)
For information regarding K-12 academic programs at Governor Baxter School for the Deaf please contact:
John Jones, Director of Instruction for Special Education, Upper Elementary, Middle and High School Programs
Tammy Daly, Administrative Assistant
781-3165, Ext. 0
The Governor Baxter School for the Deaf provides comprehensive educational and support services to Maine’s school aged deaf and hard-of-hearing children in grades K-12. The pre-school, lower and upper elementary school programs are located in Falmouth, ME on the Mackworth Island campus. Middle and high school programs are integrated within Portland Public Schools at Lyman Moore Middle School and Portland High School. Students attending the high school program also can access vocational education programs at the Portland Arts and Technology High School.
GBSD educational programs offer specialized instruction and access to the general education curriculum and state standards at all grade and achievement levels through direct and differentiated instruction in all of the classrooms and where appropriate, for the students enrolled in regular education classes with communication supports. In addition to the academic focus the programs help develop self-advocacy and social skill development along with providing opportunities for direct communication with deaf and hard-of-hearing peers and professionals. Support services for all the students are available from the educational audiologist, speech and language therapists, social worker, occupational therapy team, and transition specialist whom all contribute to effective communication, language and transitional planning throughout the school years. The middle and high school programs also have access to many of the educational and social resources that are available through the collaboration with Portland Public Schools.
Specialized programming for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who present with behavioral or cognitive challenges is available after a collaborative team review with parents, home district personnel and the GBSD special education team in consultation with the psychological and communication consultants. Enrollment decisions are contingent upon student Individualized Education Program (IEP) team approval and the ability to meet all of the student’s challenges and educational needs.
For more detailed program and enrollment information please refer to the website at www.mecdhh.org or contact Karen Hopkins, Director of Early Childhood Education and Family Services for Pre-School - Grade Two programs or John Jones, Director of Instruction for Special Education, Upper Elementary, Middle and High School Programs. Please contact MECDHH /GBSD Administrative Assistant, Tammy Daly, at 781-3165, Ext. 0.
Statewide Educational Services
1.) Early Childhood and Family Services Program (ECFS)
The Early Childhood and Family Services (ECFS) Program provides services to families with children newborn to 5 years of age who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a suspected hearing loss. We provide information to families and professionals statewide, support the choices that families make to benefit their children and assist them with identifying the resources that will help them meet the individual needs of their infant or young child. Services are provided at no cost to families. Home visits are offered to families to provide unbiased information about early childhood development, hearing loss, auditory skills development, amplification, communication and technology options, education and program resources, funding options, networking and mentoring. ECFS consultants are available for observations and consultations in daycare and preschool settings. We are also available for participation in Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team meetings. Our program collaborates with the child's IFSP team and provides opportunities for statewide networking for families, providers and agencies. We have a diverse professional staff with the following backgrounds: teachers of the deaf, parent/infant specialists, early-childhood educators, an educational/pediatric audiologist and special educators.
Direct Service Opportunities:
Occasionally staff from MECDHH is able to provide direct services to children and families as the need arises. The following services are available: special instruction, specially designed instruction, speech and language therapy, ASL family training and deaf mentor services.
The Early Childhood Programs at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MECDHH) are committed to the enhancement of the developmental needs of children from birth through grade two. A central component of the program is the development of language and communication in young children, with full respect and support given to the array of language and communication features that families may choose for their child.
Parent, Infant/Toddler Program:
The Parent, Infant/Toddler Program offers a variety of support and services to parent/ caregivers and children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have suspected hearing loss, that includes teachers of the deaf, speech language pathologists, audiologists, parents etc. A multi-disciplinary approach is used to meet the individual needs of families and children. Services include play groups and regional outings.
In supporting a continuum of communication opportunities, our play groups include modeling strategies within play-based centers for listening, spoken language and American Sign Language development. Parent, infant and toddler play groups are held in 8 week sessions for the fall, winter, and spring, meeting 1 day each week. Outings are held on Saturdays in between each session to allow opportunity for all family members to attend. Both are great opportunities for families to connect and children to play and interact with other deaf or hard-of-hearing children.
ASL/Spoken English story time gives families and children access regardless of their primary receptive language. Audiologists, speech language pathologists, teachers of the deaf and deaf mentors provide resources and are available for consultation throughout the morning. This play group is aimed for families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, who want to meet other families, gather information and have a good time! Parents have the opportunity to connect and build relationships. Families are welcome to stay for lunch after the play group and enjoy more time together. Feel free to bring a bag lunch or if you would prefer, you may purchase lunch at the school cafeteria.
Early Childhood Educational Program:
The MECDHH Early Childhood Bilingual, Bimodal Program offers language rich early childhood education for deaf, hard of hearing, and typically hearing children ages 3 to Grade Two in American Sign Language and spoken English as our languages of instruction. Early learning is fostered through a curriculum that is rich in exploration and aligned with the Maine Early Learning Guidelines and The Common Core Standards. Children with a range of language and communication styles are guided to play, interact, and explore their environment to cultivate social-emotional growth, cognitive development, motor skill development, literacy skill development, communication proficiency and creativity. Each child’s natural curiosity and individual pace steers their learning process in each area of development. Mackworth Island and our classrooms serve as a palette for children’s learning, directed by the child and nurtured by staff to ensure growth in all areas indicated in state and national education guidelines.
Our program is a bilingual, bimodal setting offering children open exploration, access, and experience in American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken language. For both early childhood programs, there are two connected classroom environments. In one room, spoken language is used in all daily interactions and communication. In the second room, American Sign Language is used in all daily interaction and instruction. The Early Childhood Team work collaboratively with the child’s family to language plan for each child to offer an individual program that meets the communication needs and goals of each child. Children begin their day in one classroom and based on their language plan, will spend a specified amount of time learning in each room. Children are encouraged to explore all learning centers in both rooms to aid in development of auditory/listening skills, spoken language, receptive and expressive ASL skills as guided by the family’s goals for their child. When the need arises, a special purpose classroom is offered for those children who require a smaller group setting. In this environment both ASL and spoken language are used at separate times. Precursors to language and communication development as well as early auditory skill development are supported throughout the day.
All classroom environments have been acoustically modified to minimize background noise and reverberation. Hearing assistance technology compatible with individual children’s personal hearing aids and cochlear implants are used throughout the school day.
Student Support Service in the MECDHH Early Childhood Program include: speech and language therapy by certified speech pathologists; audiology services, occupational therapy; physical therapy; and consultation by psychologists and social workers.
Parental involvement is the cornerstone of our program. We encourage parent participation and communication on a regular basis.
For questions and referrals to the Early Childhood and Family Services, contact:
Karen Hopkins, ECFS Program Coordinator
1 Mackworth Island
Falmouth, ME 04105
2.) Public School Outreach Program (PSO)
The Public School Outreach Program assists service providers in offering a beneficial and positive educational experience for students with a hearing loss within their local school district. We offer free statewide consultative services to schools that serve students who are deaf or hard of hearing regardless of the degree or nature of their hearing loss or communication systems they use. Our goal is to become a valued member of the school team and assist public school personnel and parents with implementing an appropriate and positive educational experience for any student in Kindergarten - Grade 12 with a hearing loss.
Services provided include:
a.) • On-site classroom observations.
• Involvement with the Individual Education Plan (IEP) Team.
• Assistance with proper use and care of all hearing assistive technology, HATs. (i.e., hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM system).
• Visual and auditory access recommendations.
• Language and literacy considerations.
• Curriculum modifications.
• Instructional strategies.
• Proper use of sign language interpreters and cued language transliterators.
• Social emotional development considerations.
• Student awareness programs.
• Transition planning considerations and resources.
• Access to resource materials.
b.) Expanded Consultation/Itinerant Teacher Services (fee based):
Contracts are developed with the district based to address individual needs student and professionals working with that student. A range of services are offered including in-depth consultation services, literacy program development, language program development, support with use of all forms of technology, support writing IEPs, modeling strategies and techniques, recommendations for materials and programs, input regarding assessments, networking, etc.
c.) Peer Awareness Programs:
W.I.S.E., "We Increase Sensitivity and Educate”, is a diversified awareness program that provides an opportunity for students who are hearing to better understand the needs of their peers who are deaf or hard of hearing. This program uses a hands-on, experiential education model and incorporates group activities and discussions to facilitate student learning.
This comfortable and safe environment encourages students who are deaf or hard of hearing to express their feelings and share some of the challenges they face in their everyday lives as well as respond to questions their classmates may have.
d.) Regional “Kids Like Me” Programs
Children who are deaf or hard of hearing need peer support in order to share and comprehend how being deaf or hard of hearing impacts their daily lives. Learning that there are others who have similar life experiences and frustrations helps children accept and understand what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing and maintain a positive self-image. Providing an adult role model who is deaf or hard of hearing is an integral part of this program that promotes positive self-esteem and a "can do" attitude.
Grades K-5 Student Groups:
K through 5 groups are located in Portland and Bangor regions. They meet for 2 hours a week for 8-10 consecutive weeks. Experimental learning activities like games, journaling, role playing, art projects, problem solving, small group discussions and assistive technology demonstrations are designed to build assertive listening and communication skills, self-esteem, leadership, personal awareness and a strong, positive identity as a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual.
Grades 6-12 Mid/High School Student Groups:
MECDHH offers three 2 day sessions (overnight) per year and students are strongly encouraged to attend all three sessions to reap the greatest benefit from the program. Deaf and hard-of-hearing peers from all over the state come together for a total of 24 hours of fun. Our program provides a stimulating context for building friendships and self-advocacy skills, expressing thoughts and feelings and sharing cooperative learning experiences. Activities may include: games, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping out, orienteering, rock climbing and other activities in the great outdoors.
**In all PSO programs each child's preferred mode of communication is accommodated and respected. Interpreters, Cued Language transliterators and hearing assistive technologies are an integral part of all our programs.
e.) In-service Training/Resources:
On-site trainings can be provided upon request that focus on individual student needs. Webinars (please see out website for upcoming and archived webinars)
For questions and referrals to the Public School Outreach Program, contact:
Angela Bruno, Director of Public School and Community Outreach
1 Mackworth Island
Falmouth, ME 04105
Maine Hands & Voices
Maine Hands & Voices is the Maine state chapter of national non-profit Hands & Voices. Our organization is dedicated to supporting Maine families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We're a parent-driven organization that collaborates with professionals who serve our children to provide families with the resources, networks and information they need to feel supported in raising a child with hearing loss, including connecting families to one another for irreplaceable parent-to-parent support and working to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities, parent/professional collaboration and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling deaf and hard-of-hearing children to reach their highest potential. “What works for your child is what makes the choice right!” Visit Maine Hands & Voices on Facebook.
Maine Newborn Hearing Program (MNHP)
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Betsy Glencross, Coordinator
TTY Users Call Maine Relay 711
Website: Maine Newborn Hearing Program
The Maine Newborn Hearing Program is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This program coordinates hospital newborn hearing-screening programs and follow-up of infants with hearing loss. The program is able to provide resource and referral information for families who have an infant with hearing loss.
Colleen M. Owens, LCPC
Full Circle Wellness Center, Inc.
265 Hammond Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Colleen is a graduate of Gallaudet University’s Masters in Mental Health Counseling. She has worked with the Deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind and late-deafened communities since 2006. She provides family and individual therapy to children, adolescents and adults. She is experienced in working with survivors who experienced physical and sexual abuse. She is also experienced in working with adults and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Many insurances accepted and a sliding scale is also available.