Alison Freeman, Ph.D.
Ca Lic#: PSY 10597
(310) 712-1200
IEP support/advocacy, Parent Support and Family Therapy

Unlike blindness, being hearing impaired is an invisible stressor that colors a deaf or hard of hearing person’s life daily.  Most invisible is the impact that language delay has on a child’s school work and relationships with every person in their life. Feelings of not being included or having friends are the most common complaints I hear from children and teens. Even when their academic performance is adequate, their performance can be better when they feel better about themselves in their social world.  As such, counseling should be an inherent part of your child’s emotional, social and cognitive growth. With this perspective in mind, individual and/or family counseling can be obtained privately or individually through the I.E.P. process in the schools.

Under current ADA and IDEA special education laws, any child with “special needs” in either mainstreamed or special education classes can receive counseling services through their school.  While some schools may already be aware of this, other schools may need to be educated about this legal right to services.  As a parent, you can request counseling services for your child with a counselor who is a hearing impairment specialist.  Most schools will require an assessment by the school psychologist to determine if counseling is necessary. 

If your school does not have a counselor (knowledgeable in hearing impairment/deafness and/or fluent in sign language) who is able to provide this service to your child, then you can request that the school provide you with an outside provider i.e. Non Public Agent.  An NPA is a professional who has been evaluated and is certified by the State of California to provide therapy or assessment.  As an NPA since 1998, I have gone to numerous schools in both Northern and Southern California.