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What can we learn from the Hearing Parents of Deaf Children?

What was this study about?

Whilst many parents can agree that upon learning their child is deaf or hard of hearing, they can experience a range of mixed emotions, but not all experiences are equal. There are a number of variables that may impact parents' experience, and subsequently decision making.

This study interviewed eighteen hearing parents of deaf or hard of hearing children about their emotional and practical experiences of parenting a deaf or hard of hearing child.

What were the key findings?

  • Professionals can learn to empathise with the grief, guilt, denial and anger or parents of a newly-diagnosed infant and also the anxiety that faces them when confronted with potentially life-changing decisions about language, technological treatments and educational choices.
  • Parents acknowledged that the needs of their child change at various life stages stressing the importance of remembering that the child's needs are long term.

"Not all parent's experiences of having a deaf child are equal."

  • Access to sign language opened up a line of communication between parents and children.
  • This study recommended children who have undergone the procedure should be simultaneously exposed to both sign and spoken language communication modalities: on the basis of 18 interviews with parents of deaf children, it is concluded being bilingual has many cognitive benefits.

Where can I read more about this paper?

What We Can Learn From Hearing Parents of Deaf Children.

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