Esposito, B. and Koorland, M. (1989). Play behavior of
hearing impaired children: Integrated and
segregated settings. Exceptional
Children, 55, 412-419.
Lederberg, A., Ryan, H., and Robbins, B. (1986). Peer
interaction in young deaf children: The effect of
partner hearing status and familiarity.
Psychology, 22, 691-700.
Antia, S. and Kreimeyer, K. (1996). Social interaction
and acceptance of deaf or hard-of-hearing children
and their peers: A comparison of social
skills and familiarity-based interventions. Volta Review,
Brackett, D. and Henniges, M. (1976). Communicative interaction
of preschool hearing impaired children
in an integrated setting. Volta
Review, Oct/Nov, 276-285.
Hearing impaired children engage in more advanced play in an integrated
setting, with non-handicapped children. They can benefit from "interaction
with advanced models during play, the experience of more realistic social
consequences, and the observation of more appropriate communicative interactions"
(Esposito and Koorland, 1989).
More social, associative play (play which involves children playing together,
however without a common goal) is noted in an integrated setting while
more nonsocial, parallel play (play near another child, however without
social contact) is noted in a segregated setting (Esposito et al, 1989).
The setting may have significant implications for cognitive development
as well as social development.
Good relations between hearing and hearing impaired children appears to
occur in the home and in the child’s own neighborhood environment (Lederberg,
Ryan, and Robbins, 1986). "…the relationship may decrease the negative
feelings that hearing children frequently feel toward deaf children."
Physical proximity alone does not lead to increased interaction between
children with and without a disability, however proximity that promotes
familiarity (frequent contact in small groups during play) may lead to
increased interaction (Antia and Kreimeyer, 1996).
As social acceptance may be related to a peer’s perception of academic
competence, play should occur in an area where the hearing impaired child
is academically equal (Antia et al, 1996).
Familiarity plays a large role in interactions. The more familiar a deaf
and hearing child are with each other, the more likely they were to comfortably
play together. Familiar partners have "social repertoires that are better
meshed" than less familiar individuals. Their interactions are richer (Lederberg
et al, 1986). Familiar interactions appear to not be affected by factors
like hearing loss severity, speech ability, social and communication development,
mode of communication, or chronological age.
Free play settings, where the parent/teacher plays a minimal role, are
the best settings for equal performance between hearing and hearing-impaired
children (Brackett and Henniges, 1976).
Many hearing impaired children interact minimally with their hearing peers
and may be less accepted than their normally hearing classmates. To promote
interaction, intervention by the teacher/parent may be necessary (Antia
et al, 1996).
If parents, for a variety of reasons, restrict peer interaction of the
deaf child with hearing children, the siblings in the family may become
a major source of peer interaction.
Research in the area of social development appears to support the wealth
of programs that offer hearing-impaired children the opportunity to be
mainstreamed or included in regular education programs with hearing children.
These integrated settings can be ‘fertile ground’ for socialization for
school age children, as well as preschoolers that attend preschool programs
with ‘normally developing peers’. Both groups of children would benefit
from this integration. It is best, it appears, if children can be placed
at times in schools within their own neighborhoods. The research appears
to show that socialization occurs in the familiar neighborhood, a place
where neighbors know each other and parents as well as kids feel comfortable.
A childhood friend from the neighborhood that a child ‘has grown up with’
may be just the familiar person to help with acceptance and social development.
Hearing impaired children and hearing children tend to be more comfortable
with each other when they are familiar with each other. These familiar
partnerships do not develop, however, just by being physically close to
each other. Proximity is not enough—and in mainstreamed situations, as
well as in some neighborhoods, parents and teachers may need to be facilitators.
Antia, S. (1994). Strategies to develop peer interaction
in young hearing-impaired children. Volta Review,
Antia, S., Kreimeyer, K., and Eldredge, N. (1993). Promoting
social interaction between young children
with hearing impairments and their
peers. Exceptional Children, 60, 262-275.
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