(1980). A hug just isn't enough. Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University
Fin Facts (1999)
A brochure from the Family Child Learning Center.
Smith (1999). You are not alone! [Online] Available http://www.babyparenting.about.com/library/weekly/blspecial.htm?COB=home&terms=you+are+not+alone&PM=113_300_T
J and Weston, Denise Chapman (1995). Kid friendly parenting with deaf
or hard of hearing children. Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University
Ogden, Paul W
(1996). The silent garden: Raising your deaf child. Washington D.C.:
Gallaudet University Press.
Sloman, Leon M.D.,
FRCP(C), Springer, Stephen PhD, C Psych., Vachon, Mary R.N., PhD (1993).
"Disordered communication and grieving in deaf member families." Family
Process, 32 (2) , 171-183.
with a hearing loss: "For families with d/hh children" [Online] Available
and Care Giverís Bill of Rights (Brandy, 1999 p1)
I have the right:
To take care of myself. This is not
an act of self-centeredness. It will give me the ability to take better
care of my child.
To seek assistance from others. I realize
that I am limited in knowledge, strength and endurance.
To live my own life and do things for
myself, just as I would if my child were hearing.
To feel and express shock, guilt, anger,
depression, helplessness and frustration.
To reject any attempt by my child to
manipulate me through guilt, anger, frustration or depression.
To receive consideration, affection,
forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do as long as I provide these qualities
to my child.
To take pride in my accomplishments
in meeting the needs of my child.
To be myself and make a life for myself
that will keep me busy during the time when my child no longer requires
my "full time" assistance.
To expect and demand that as new steps
are taken to aid children with disabilities, that similar steps will be
taken to assist and support care givers.
Engage in an open communication of feelings
related to the hearing loss, unanswered questions, and dealing with the
negative aspects of the loss (Sloman, Springer, and Vachon).
Think of the child as one who happens
to be deaf, rather then a "deaf child" (Sloman,et al).
Think of deafness as a cultural issue,
rather than a handicap. This helps families appreciate the positive aspects
of deaf culture (Sloman, et al)
Join a parentís of deaf children support
group or start your own (Medwid and Weston, 1995)
Make several lists of people to call
for help (friends, professional agencies, teachers, family, deaf adults,
and other parents) (Medwid, et al and Ferris, 1980 ).
Take breaks such as baths, naps, or
weekend trips. Meeting your own needs to relax will help your sanity and
allow more tolerance for the most difficult moments. "With your child depending
on you for direction and guidance, you cannot do better than by first turning
your attention to yourself (Ogden, 1996 p24 and Medwid et al).
Continue your hobbies (Medwid, et al).
Exercise on a regular basis, which provides
an excuse to meet your own needs (Medwid et al).
Find a peaceful place such as churches,
parks, or lakes (Medwid, et al).
Have "adult time" in which parents spend
time with other adults (Medwid, et al)
Encourage parents to ask their questions.
Answering parental questions will help them move on (Medwid, et al).
Assist parents in not responding emotionally
or defensively when presented with information forcefully. There are many
people that are very passionate about what they believe, but their beliefs
may not be right for the family. Parents should simply listen to the content
and reflect on how it affects the family (Medwid, et al).
Keep daily routines as normal and consistent
as possible (McGill, 1999).
Encourage parent to keep a positive
outlook on the situation (McGill, 1999)
Help parents accept that there are some
things we can change and some things we canít (McGill, 1999).
Recognizing the difference helps in
accepting reality (McGill, 1999).
Remind parents that over time the stress
and emotions decrease (McGill, 1999)
Locate the most appropriate learning
environments for the child (FIN facts).
Discourage parents from feeling self-pity.
This only drives them deeper into negative emotions (McGill, 1999)).
Tell parents to take one day at a time
Never underestimate the childís potential
Encourage a sense of humor. "Cracking
up with laughter can keep you from cracking up from stress." (FIN facts).
Parents should answer to their conscience
before they attempt to answer their child or justify their decisions to
others (FIN facts).
Many strategies have been listed
because there is no one specific one that will help every family. Get aquainted
with the family you are working with and determine which strategy will
benefit them the most.
Adams, John W.
(1997) You and your deaf child. Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University
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