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Parents with lived experience raising Deaf Plus children.

The acceptable term referring to deaf or hard of hearing children with additional needs is deaf plus.

What was this study about?

This study explores challenges parents caring for children who are deaf or hard of hearing with additional needs, or deaf plus, can experience. It also observes how these unique challenges combined with other variables can impact how they manage their child's hearing care.

What were the key findings?

  • Around 25-40% of all deaf children have an additional disability such as autism, blindness, intellectual impairment of multi-system genetic anomalies.
  • Parents revealed their reactions varied from obsessive childcare and self-blame, to alienation and burnout.
  • Previous studies revealed the top three problems contributing to parents in this situation were;
  1. Family- difficulty making decisions about the child’s medical care, distress at the reactions from members of the extended family, money difficulties
  2. Professional- poor communication with medical specialists who focus on only one aspect of the child’s problems and often dismiss interventions such as cochlear implantation because of the child’s multiple disabilities, difficulty getting educators to engage with children they know will be a management problem
  3. Behavioural issues in children- whose behaviours make it hard to get them to cooperate with treatment regimes and, in particular, cochlear implants.

Where can I read more about this study?

Parent Challenges, Perspectives and Experiences caring for Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing with Other Disabilities: A Comprehensive Review.

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