Our History and Educational Philosophy
Presbyterian Ear Institute, a private, nonprofit organization, was founded in 1987 by Karl L. Horn, M.D., a renowned otolaryngologist, to serve New Mexicans with hearing loss. Presbyterian Ear Institute Oral School was established in 1990 to offer the option of oral education in New Mexico. It is the goal of Presbyterian Ear Institute Oral School to teach children with hearing loss to talk by providing an educational environment that fosters oral communication. Our school offers an innovative teaching plan for children who use hearing aids and/or cochlear implants and provides a curriculum individualized to meet the specific needs of each child. The small student teacher ratio of 3 to 1, combined with teachers trained in oral deaf education, ensures active student participation and high motivation. Our goal is to ensure that all children develop their speech, language, audition, academic, and social skills to a level that will bring them success in a mainstream classroom setting and in the larger hearing world as they grow older.
PEI Oral School
Presbyterian Ear Institute Oral School was founded on the belief that many children with hearing loss can develop the ability to listen, learn, and speak. Presbyterian Ear Institute Oral School provides an educational program in which children with hearing loss learn to communicate using spoken language. We provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment in which children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing can grow socially and emotionally as well as linguistically and academically. The team of professionals on campus includes oral deaf educators, speech-language pathologists, early childhood educators, special educators, audiologists, and otologists. The team also enlists the service of other providers such as occupational and physical therapists and vision specialists.
Presbyterian Ear Institute Oral School is a Moog Curriculum School. Features of the Moog Curriculum include:
- A focus on children talking and talking well.
- A unique organizational structure that promotes independence and learning to talk.
- Maximum access to sound through hearing aids and cochlear implants.
- Objective driven instruction.
- A focus on pre-academic and academic subjects.
We enroll children between the ages of 18 months and eight years. Toddlers ages 18 months – 3 years attend half day, three or four days per week. Children ages 3-5 attend a full day, five day per week program. PEI also serves newborns and infants up to 18 months in our Parent-Infant Program.
Presbyterian Ear Institute Oral School is accredited by North Central Association and Children, Youth, and Families Department of the state of New Mexico. The New Mexico Standards and Benchmarks along with Performance Standards and Benchmarks for three and four year-old children are integrated into the school curriculum.
The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational programs.
Speech and Language Program
The nationally and state certified Speech Language Pathologists who are part of Presbyterian Ear Institute’s Speech and Language Program provide therapy services and diagnostic testing services to students of PEI Oral School on a daily basis.
This program also provides services to community members of all ages who present with a variety of communication disorders including those not related to hearing loss, such as articulation delays, expressive and receptive language delays, cleft lip and palate, fluency disorders, and language disorders related to Down’s Syndrome and other developmental disorders.
Our Speech Language Pathologists work closely with other professionals in the community, including Physical and Occupational Therapists, Early Interventionists, Medical Professionals, and Educators to provide a team focus in order to provide the best possible therapy for our clients. Graduate students from the University of New Mexico Speech-Communications Department participate in clinical rotations onsite.
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening makes it possible to identify infants with hearing loss at birth, increasing the opportunity of early intervention and prevention of speech and language delays. The Parent-Infant Program serves families of children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing birth to 18 months of age. Trained professionals working in this program are dedicated to helping parents cope with and understand their infant’s hearing loss. Information and support are provided to families as they begin to consider communication options for their infants who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The program also provides direct therapy to the family and child to help the child learn to communicate orally.
Cochlear Implant Program
Presbyterian Ear Institute houses New Mexico’s oldest and largest cochlear implant program. In 1987, the program was established for adult implantation, and in 1989, was one of the initial sites in the FDA study of cochlear implantation for children. Presbyterian Ear Institute published the first study documenting the benefits of cochlear implants for the elderly deaf in 1991. Presbyterian Ear Institute continues to be an active pediatric and adult cochlear implant program for both clinical use and research.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device for profoundly deaf individuals who receive no benefit from hearing aids. The device provides electrical stimulation of the hearing nerve, allowing the deaf person access to the world of sound. As a major advancement in the hearing field, the device continues to be a strong option for individuals with both congenital as well as acquired deafness. We currently work with two cochlear implant companies – Cochlear Americas Corporation and Advanced Bionics Corporation.
Research and Education Program
Presbyterian Ear Institute offers a unique collaboration among educators, audiologists, and speech language pathologists to conduct investigations of audition and deafness. Our dedication to professional education has resulted in the publication of research involving the treatment of otosclerosis, skull base surgery, large vestibular aqueduct syndrome, auditory neuropathy, cholesteatoma, demographics of deafness, and identification and early intervention of infants with a hearing loss.
The Institute is an educational resource center for hearing and deafness in the Southwest. A library containing journals and books related to hearing and deafness is available to professionals and families. The staff at Presbyterian Ear Institute is frequently asked to participate in regional, national, and international educational meetings and programs.
If you would like more information about this or any of our programs, please contact us at (505) 224-7020.