GBYS Guides are parents of children who are DHH or Deaf/HH Adults who have received special training preparing them to provide a strong foundation in supporting families without a bias towards communication modes or methods, as well as a functional understanding of formal systems and services available to families and their DHH children (birth-21).
Parent Guide and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guide services to families include:
Direct parent-to-parent emotional support
Sharing information and resources in an unbiased manner
Workshops, trainings, and events for parents and children
Networking opportunities with other families
Referrals to other programs that serve deaf or hard of hearing children
Parent Guide and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guide services to professionals can include:
“Parent Guides” are specially trained parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They work directly with families in need of the unique support that comes from someone else who has walked the path him/herself and can share from direct experience and wisdom. Parent Guides can provide emotional support at the time of screening and/or confirmation of a hearing loss, as well as provide a continuity of support to families throughout the child’s life, especially at times of transition. Guides offer resources, information, encouragement, and an opportunity to network with other families.
“Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) Guides” are specially trained to provide families and children with invaluable perspectives that come from personal experience. Their role is not the provision of service (i.e., to teach families sign language or to share oral training techniques), but to provide helpful examples drawn from direct experience of life as an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing. Like Parent Guides, DHH Guides are often an important link for extended family members who do not have direct contact with service providers, but do need to increase their understanding of the unique needs of a family member who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Our Follow Through Guides (FTGs) have the same training as our Parent Guides but also work with the DSHS TEHDI program and providers to reach out to families whose child has possible hearing loss or has just been diagnosed. Our FTGs encourage these families to follow through on their appointments and to enroll in some form of early intervention (such as ECI) if their child has hearing loss. The FTGs also work with providers by providing technical assistance, education and outreach to improve the role of the early hearing detection and intervention process in Texas.