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What is Early Childhood and Family Services?


A multi disciplinary approach involving Deaf and Hard of Hearing professionals, Educators, Child Development Specialists, Speech-Hearing professionals and others. Working together to achieve goals with d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and families.



Northern Saskatchewan ECFS Staff:

Robyn Holmes



Southern Saskatchewan ECFS Staff:

Patti Spicer


What Do We Offer?


  • Access to language and literacy.
  • Support from bilingual Early Childhood and Family Services Workers.
  • Referrals and supports from related programs and agencies.
  • Information on options for children.
  • Strategies on the inclusion of the child in family and community life.
  • Connectivity and family networking.
  • Tools for school and life.

Services Included:


  1. Home visits.
  2. Baby Signs and Sign Language instruction.
  3. Basic information on strategies and tools for raising d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children.
  4. Consultation with other service providers on appropriate accommodations for children with different hearing levels.
  5. Referrals to audiologists, speech-language therapists, hearing aid practitioners, and other rehabilitation professionals for therapy purposes.
  6. Family literacy and education.
  7. Support through play groups and family group meetings.
  8. Resources and information.
  9. Connections to other d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, families, and d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing mentors.
  10. Opportunities to participate in d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing culture, community events, gatherings, workshops, and activities.


Did You Know...


American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete visual/gestural language that uses hand shapes and non-manual markers. It has the same linguistic properties as other spoken languages but the grammatical rules differ. Other sign systems such as, but not limited to, SEE (Sign Exact English), and ME (Manual English), are signed versions of English and are not considered a complete visual language.


Receiving a medical diagnosis that a child has a hearing loss is often unexpected for parents. There are many emotions and questions to navigate through for parents and professionals.



  • The crucial period for language development is from birth to age six.
  • Visual communication is vital to social skills and language development. It utilizes the child’s natural abilities and strengths to create a foundation to learn English.
  • Tools such as hearing aids and cochlear implants can be beneficial to access English but do not always guarantee language acquisition.
  • The best people to talk to about living with deafness are those who have lived it.
  • Literacy is the KEY to successful integration and a good education.


What Can I Do Now?


  • Contact the Early Childhood and Family Services Worker at SDHHS to set up an appointment to discuss your needs and concerns.
  • Connect and network with other d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing families to develop relationships for support and information.