Preschool and Kindergarten
The Preschool Program is a full-day program that meets Monday through Thursday on a schedule similar to the local school district calendar. Classroom programming provides a language-rich environment that emphasizes listening and auditory development, speech and articulation skills, and receptive and expressive language proficiency. Children in the Preschool Program also participate in individualized therapy sessions focused on the development of auditory, speech and language skills. The program emphasizes preschool development across domains: academic, social, and literacy with a focus on kindergarten readiness. Parents are welcome and encouraged to visit or volunteer, and the program incorporates home/school communication in order to carry over the children’s classroom goals and experiences.
Sound Beginnings offers a full-day kindergarten class that meets Monday through Thursday on a schedule similar to the local school district calendar. Half day options are also available for children who attend their local neighborhood kindergarten program. The Sound Beginnings class follows the curriculum as outlined in the Utah State Office of Education Kindergarten Guidelines, in addition to the continued emphasis on speech, language, literacy, and pragmatic development. Targeted enrollment includes children with hearing loss as well as typically developing children with normal hearing (as space permits) to provide mainstreaming opportunities in preparation for successful integration in the neighborhood elementary schools. The kindergarten class maintains a small class size of up to 10-12 children, with an approximate 5:1 child-adult ratio. Children with hearing loss in the kindergarten program also participate as needed in individualized therapy sessions focused on the development of auditory, speech, language, and pragmatic skills.
Individual Therapy for Listening and Spoken Language at Sound Beginnings
Children who attend the Preschool and Kindergarten programs participate in individualized auditory learning and spoken language therapy sessions. Sound Beginnings has the opportunity of interdisciplinary collaboration of highly specialized deaf educators, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists who regularly coordinate efforts to respond to each child’s targeted needs. Graduate students, who are masters or doctoral degree candidates, deliver individualized therapy using the most current auditory and research-focused training techniques. Therapy sessions with graduate students are coordinated with and supervised by licensed and certified speech-language pathologists from the Dept of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. To enhance home/school collaboration, parents participate in at least one session per week and are welcome to attend more often if desired. The individual therapy sessions also can be observed by parents from attached observation rooms. If you are interested in observing your child’s therapy sessions, please contact Nicole Martin, Director of Sound Beginnings, at 435-757-9235.
Mainstreaming for Sound Beginnings children
Children in the Sound Beginnings program benefit from mainstreaming activities with typically developing children in the adjacent Dolores Doré Eccles Center for Early Care & Education program. Children from both programs interact with afternoon classroom activities as well as shared playground and cafeteria times. Children with hearing loss in the Sound Beginnings kindergarten also participate in the Edith Bowen kindergarten activities on Friday mornings.
An increasing body of research suggests that music is beneficial for children with hearing loss. Children in the Preschool and Kindergarten classes work with Music Therapists each week to increase their listening and spoken language skills through activities focused on improving rhythm, pattern perceptions, intonation and rhyme.
Sound Beginnings can assist with coordinating or scheduling other related services as appropriate for each child. This might include occupational therapy, physical therapy, or psychological services. These services can be provided through community resources, or university-based clinics. Any potential charges or fees are the responsibility of the child’s family as per the agreement with the service provider.
Sound Beginnings offers a summer session during July in addition to the school-year program. The summer school schedule is a continuation of all programs, including Birth-to-3, Toddler Group, Preschool, and Kindergarten. This program provides a unique opportunity to continue your child’s speech, language, auditory, and academic development and to prevent the regression of skills that can coincide with a long summer break. Please see the academic calendar for specific summer session dates.