Communication is an essential aspect of human interaction and helps connect us to the people around us. The majority of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are born to hearing parents who are likely unfamiliar with hearing loss. These parents are then asked to make critical decisions about communication options for their children. It can be a challenging process but one that needs to be done quickly in order to capture the critical language development period. Little research has explored the factors associated with parents’ decisions about communication options for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing and no studies have been done specifically with Canadian parents. This exploratory survey design study examined the factors which influence Canadian parents’ decisions relative to communication options for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Results indicate that parents’ personal judgement and a desire for their child to be able to communicate with their family and be happy in their own unique lives were driving forces behind the decisions that were made. Confirming research conducted in other countries, Canadian parents use a combination of their own judgement, professionals’ opinions, the needs of their child and internal values to make communication option decisions. Implications of these results are discussed as they pertain to parent-professional partnerships and family-centered services.
Pedersen, H. F. Nichol, S. Swartwout, N. & Conn, D. R. (2021). Canadian Families’ Decisions of Communication Options* for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: An Initial Exploration. Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 6(1), 77-89. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26077/f1e9-dd7a
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