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Read this page to learn if a regular school is right for your child.
What mainstreaming is
Mainstreaming is when a child with hearing loss goes to a regular school instead of a school for the deaf. Mainstreaming is also called inclusion or integration. A child can be mainstreamed in different ways:
- Total mainstreaming
Your child would go to a regular school and have all classes with hearing children. She might need special services, like interpreters, notetakers or speech therapy.
- Partial mainstreaming
Your child would have some classes with hearing children, and some in a special room with a teacher of the deaf.
How much of each class depends on the school. For example:
- Your child may go to a hearing school, but have all or most of his classes in a resource room. A resource room is a room set aside for students with hearing loss or other disabilities. Those classes are taught by a trained teacher of the deaf. Students have only a few classes with hearing students, like gym or home economics.
- Your child may go to a hearing school and have most of her classes with hearing children. A few times a week, she may work with a visiting teacher of the deaf.
- Team teaching
A teacher of the deaf and a general education teacher work together in a class of both hearing and deaf students.
Team teaching is not as common as other kinds of inclusion.
Ask your school district if they have this option.
How going to a school with hearing children can affect your child
- Your child may be the only deaf or hard-of-hearing child in the school.
- She may be able to go to school with family and neighborhood friends.
- Your child might not be able to catch everything the teachers or students say.
- She may find the class work more challenging.
- She may study harder to make up for what she misses in class.
What special help your child will need
Work with your school district to get support services for your child.
If you're having trouble with the school, talk to an advocate and other parents to learn how to get your child special services.
Special services may include:
Read our section on what help your child can get in school.
Questions to ask yourself before choosing a school
- Does your child understand and play with other children in the neighborhood?
- Does she already have hearing friends?
- Is school a place where your child feels happy and is understood?
- Is your child learning every day?
Read our checklist to see if your child is ready for the mainstream.
Learn more about mainstreaming