MET and Support Team
The Multi–Disciplinary Evaluation Team includes service providers, medical personnel, and most importantly, parents. Expert assessment and input is often crucial to making informed decisions. It is important to remember, however, that parents are the first experts about their child and should seek to understand the options and needs of their child, being prepared to advocate if necessary.
Information describing team members is provided by Beginnings for Parents of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Inc.
What Do the Experts Do?
- Pediatrician:The health professional most parents depend on for general health care of their child is probably a pediatrician, who treats only children, or a family practice physician, who treats the adults and children in the family. This professional may treat inflammations and infections of the ear and upper respiratory system that can affect hearing, as well as other conditions that children may encounter. He or she will more than likely refer the child to another member of the team for help with the hearing loss itself.
- The audiologist may be certified by the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA). Audiologists specialize in hearing disorders. An audiologist identifies the hearing loss, measures it, and aids in the habilitation of the deaf and/or hard of hearing person, by recommending appropriate hearing aids. Many are also licensed to sell hearing aids.
- An otorhinolaryngologist (ENT) is a physician who specializes in diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. ENT doctors, by federal regulation, must examine a child to rule out any medical complications before parents purchase a hearing aid. Parents should have their child checked by an ENT periodically.
- The child service coordinator is responsible for coordinating all services for the child and will serve as the person for parents to contact when seeking to obtain necessary services and assistance. The child service coordinator assists parents in identifying and locating available services and service providers, and to inform parents (and families) of the availability of advocacy services.
- A speech and language pathologist diagnoses and habilitates speech and language problems. This team member may meet with a child regularly to foster speech and language development and speech correction. The speech pathologists also instruct parents on how they can help with the child’s speech and language development. The American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA) certifies licensing and most of these professionals.
- The teacher of the deaf or hard of hearing is usually certified by the State Department of Education to teach the Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Parents should begin talking to these special teachers, from programs in their area, even if the child is only an infant. This person can help parents get started immediately with communication and language development. Most areas have programs for infants and toddlers and their parents. Teachers in these programs will become one of the most valuable members of the team, providing home visits and one–on–one early intervention for parents and children.
- A friend or advocate from the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing community who has experienced the educational system and is familiar with its strengths, weaknesses and strategies useful for overcoming problems one may encounter.