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Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Identification of Deafness.

Parents' responses to knowing early and their expectations of child communication development.

What was this report about?

This report looks at the impact on parents of finding out early that their child is deaf. It presents the findings of a study of 45 parents or other primary caregivers (from 27 families) whose babies were identified as deaf following newborn hearing screening in England. The babies were 25 weeks old on average when the interviews were conducted. 

What were the key findings?

  • Parents experiences a complex mix of responses after being told their baby is deaf.
  • For many parents early identification of deafness brings reassurance and offers a time to adjust and prepare. For others, it brings grief and distress about possible challenges they may face.
  • At this stage, parents often believe there is a promise of ‘normal’ development for their child, defined by the speech and hearing of a normally developing hearing child.
  • Parents often spoke of deafness as if it was an illness, or problem to be fixed, with the aim of their child achieving the same development as hearing children.

Where can I read more about this article?

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Identification of Deafness: Parents' Responses to Knowing Early and Their Expectations of Child Communication Development.

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