When you discover your child has a hearing loss, you have lots of questions. CID’s caring, experienced family center staff will help you navigate the early intervention system so your family can receive services as soon as possible.

Our parent educators, teachers, individual therapists and audiologists are credentialed providers for First Steps in Missouri and Child and Family Connections in Illinois. We serve families and their children birth to age 3. Our expert pediatric audiologists will work closely with you to ensure your child receives appropriate amplification as soon as possible. We provide loaner hearing aids if needed.

In family sessions, we’ll help you understand your child’s hearing loss and listening devices. Our goal is to coach you and your family to help your child develop listening and spoken language within the context of your daily life.

We offer flexible scheduling, home visits, teleintervention sessions, family support groups and a toddler class for some of our students from 18 months to 2 years old.

Every day is precious learning time for a baby with a hearing loss. Please call us to talk about your child. Or use the GET STARTED  link and we will contact you. We invite you and your family to visit CID and meet our staff and students. See for yourself that developing listening and spoken language is both possible and rewarding.

CID’s Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center provides help at a crucial time for babies and their families.

toddler and mom during home visit


CID offers teleintervention services for families of young children with hearing loss learning to listen and talk. Our experienced educators teach parents and caregivers about hearing loss, listening devices and much more. We use a coaching model to help families gain confidence integrating listening and spoken language techniques into their daily routines. Our goal is to empower parents to continue to improve their children’s skills as a foundation for lifelong learning.

Internet access is required. Security procedures are followed to protect confidentiality. For more information, please contact Claire Soete at or 314.977.0175.


Home visits are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the interim, all CID families are being served through teleintervention services.

toddlers with hearing aids interact with their teacher at CID



Device Check and Cognitive Play
The teachers greet the students and encourage them to hang up their jackets and backpacks. While the children do puzzles and matching or sorting activities, the teachers check their listening devices.

Opening Circle Time
Circle time begins with a song to welcome each child to class. They learn to listen for their names. They also learn their friends’ names. The teachers lead them in theme-related songs and finger plays. Children learn to listen to the rich, melodic aspects of speech and language through music and song. Even children with little spoken language enjoy participating in favorites like “Old MacDonald” and “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Guided Developmental Play
Children learn best through play. The children play and engage in theme-related activities. The teachers incorporate targeted vocabulary and language along with the language of play, for example: “My turn. I want the ball. Uh-oh, the car is stuck! Ssshh. Night, night, Baby!” Play themes relate to a 2-year-old’s real life experiences, such as “home and family,” “fall” and “pets.”

During snack time, the teachers encourage the children to use functional language, for example: “I want some juice. More, please.”

Story Time
The teachers bring stories to life with props and toys to foster the love of books! The stories reinforce concepts, vocabulary and language related to the theme.

Music and Movement
CID’s gym teacher leads the children in games, songs and turn-taking while practicing balance, kicking, running, jumping, swinging and more.

Closing Circle Time
The children sing songs and say goodbye to their friends.


In the morning, each child participates in an individual session focused on his or her specific listening, language, vocabulary and speech goals. The therapists closely monitor the child’s listening skills and partner with our audiologists to ensure optimal hearing at all times. Individual therapy activities are both developmentally appropriate and tailored to each child’s present levels and goals. The therapists work with our teachers to help ensure carryover of skills to the classroom.

Looking through observation window at small group toddler class


We believe parents are a child’s first teachers. So our caring, experienced family center staff is dedicated to getting them exactly the help they need to begin working with their children at home. Our program offers home visits and teleintervention sessions, with flexible scheduling to meet a family’s needs.

Some of the 2-year-olds in our program also receive small group and individual instruction in our toddler class. Parents and family members may observe any time. The teachers, individual therapists and parent educators collaborate with the families to encourage practice and carryover of language and learning to the children’s natural environment at home.

It’s important for parents and caregivers to learn specific strategies to promote listening and language skills at home, through play and daily routines. Each classroom and therapy room has an observation room. We encourage parents to observe their child in both settings. The teachers send home newsletters about themes and related activities. The therapists send daily notes. Our teachers, therapists and parent educators collaborate regularly with caregivers to foster a meaningful link between school and home.

All families in early intervention are invited to participate in Hearing from the Heart activities, including Family Fun Days throughout the year. These days are opportunities for the children to have fun with one another while their parents and caregivers obtain information and support.

The CID Parent Organization provides opportunities for parents of CID school children from birth to 12 years to support one another and connect with the CID faculty and staff. CID families are invited to school open houses, graduation and honors day, student speech shows, literacy and science fairs, game nights and other social events and special presentations and performances. The organization hosts family socials, staff appreciation events and fundraising efforts to support CID.



Amy Knackstedt 

CID’s Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center coordinator, Amy Knackstedt, MA, CED has 15 years of experience in the field of deaf education. With an undergraduate degree from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, she taught first grade and preschool at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf before earning her master’s degree in early intervention in deaf education, also from Fontbonne.

Before joining CID in 2019, she spent several years providing early intervention and school-aged listening and spoken language services as part of the iHear teleintervention program.


Claire Soete

CID’s family center intake coordinator, Claire Soete, MA, ECSE, CED brings more than 33 years of experience as a teacher and parent educator to welcoming families and their newly diagnosed babies to CID. Claire has been a CID parent educator since 2006. She has also worked at Desert Voices Oral Learning Program in Phoenix, Arizona and Moog Center for Deaf Education in Chesterfield, Missouri.