Support Services for Families with Children who are Deaf

Prepared by: Lori Hlosek

Meadow-Orlans, Kathryn P. And Sass-Lehrer, Marilyn (1995). Support Services for Families with Children who are Deaf:

Challenges for Professionals, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 15 (3), p317-334.

This article reviews the importance of support services to successful early intervention with infants and toddlers who are D/HH, general principles of support that are helpful to most families, and characteristics of families for young children who are D/HH.

As you plan intervention services for a family you need to keep in mind the family characteristics as well as the child's characteristics. Family characteristics to be considered are: the hearing status of parents, the families socioeconomic status, and the family's culture, ethnicity, and language. The child's characteristics to keep in mind are the following: the age of diagnosis, the degree of hearing loss, and other disabling conditions such as emotional disturbances, cytomegalovirus (CMV), or learning disabilities.

Once you have an understanding of the family's and the child's characteristics, you can then address and meet the family's individual needs, concerns, and priorities. By providing this social support, you can increase parent-child interactions, reduce stress and depression, increase the parent's knowledge and understanding of hearing impairment and deafness, and empower the family to find information and make informative decisions regarding their child.

Using this information can help early interventionists provide a successful intervention plan.

Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major