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Ready to Learn (RTL)

Ready to Learn (RTL)

Parent-Infant/Toddler Program
The Ready to Learn Parent-Infant/Toddler Program (RTL) of the Lexington School for the Deaf is a family centered program. Lexington is accredited by New York State Education Department. Lexington has been working with families and their infant/toddlers since 1966. Deaf and hard of hearing children from birth to three years of age and their families are eligible. The RTL program is based on a developmental theory called Mediated Learning which emphasizes the quality of interactions between the family and their child within the context of their culture. The overall goal of the RTL program is to help parents develop the strategies needed to nurture their child's language, speech, intellectual abilities and social/emotional growth.
 
Parents and their children participate in individual sessions with teachers for 90 minutes, two times a week. The schedule for these sessions is flexible depending on the family's needs. The RTL is a center-based program. The child and parents are also part of a playgroup once a week for 90 minutes. Parent workshops are offered every six weeks on topics chosen by the parents. Opportunities are available for families to interact with deaf adults who include parents, faculty and guests.
 
Transportation to and from sessions is provided free of charge by car service.
 
Family Centered
Parents are expected to be active participants working collaboratively with staff to set goals and develop plans to meet the goals. Each goal and plan is evaluated often by the parent and teacher to determine how the work is progressing.
 
Mediated Learning Experience 
During the sessions and play group, the goals are worked on through a mediated learning approach. The teacher models and coaches the parent in applying mediated learning strategies that foster the optimum intellectual, social/emotional and communication development of the child. The mediated strategies are a part of the on-going parent/teacher discussions to maximize the interactions between parents and child in natural situations. Each family's culture provides the context for the mediated learning experiences.
 
Communication
One of the primary intentions of the RTL program is to facilitate effective communication between parents and child. The RTL teachers are certified educators of the deaf and have expertise in the development of spoken language and sign language. Parents discuss options for languages in the home and in school (American Sign Language, English, Spanish, other) and options for communication modes (spoken and/or sign). These options are considered within the context of the child's needs, parents' culture and family needs.
 
Teachers and parents establish goals for the development of the child's receptive and expressive communication skills which can include spoken and/or sign language, speech development and audition. Family and child sessions are conducted in English or Spanish. Interpreters are provided for sessions in other home languages.
 
 
Eligibility
  • Documented hearing loss 
  • Newborn to three years old 
  • New York State resident 
 
Contact:
Catrina Zowak
Ready to Learn Parent-Infant/Toddler Intervention Program
Lexington School for the Deaf
25-26 75th street 
East Elmhurst, New York 11370
718 - 350-3244 Voice/TTY
718 - 899-9846 (Fax)
czowak@lexnyc.org