How is behavior affected by hearing loss?
Adams, J. (1997). You and your deaf child, a self-help guide for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. (Rev. 2nd ed.). Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University Press.
Medwid, D. & Weston, D. (1995). Kid-friendly parenting with deaf and hard of hearing children. Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University Press.
Mitchell, T. & Quittner, A. (1996). Multimethod study of attention
and behavior problems in hearing-impaired children. Journal of Clinical
Child Psychology, 25(1), 83-96.
Synthesis of information
Hearing impaired and deaf children rely on facial expressions
and gestures. Their interpretations of this nonverbal communication
may be inaccurate causing them to respond inappropriately (Adams, 1997).
According to Mitchell and Quitter (1996), "language is the central process
through which behavioral control develops" (p. 93). Often hearing
impaired children have a greater risk for developing behavior problems
due to delays in learning language. Many studies have shown that
parents report substantial difficulty communicating with their hearing
impaired child creating frustration on both sides (Mitchell & Quittner,
1996). This disruption in communication between parent and child
may cause a delay in the child's "self-regulatory" behaviors such as self-directing
to stay on task and controlling inappropriate behaviors. Medwid and
Weston (1995) found that the key is communication problems can result in
I think it is clear that many of the behavior problems we see
in hearing impaired children stem from the lack of language early in life.
Language acquisition is important for communication and no matter what
method is chosen (oral, total communication or ASL) it is important to
start right away. Children will naturally pick up on nonverbal cues,
but without a formal language to back those up they may become confused
and frustrated causing them to "act out" or behave inappropriately.
The earlier a child's hearing loss is identified, the earlier a method
for language learning can begin.
Benton, C. & Snarey, C. (no date) Adolescent Behavior in the hearing impaired. [Online]. Available: http://www.educ.kent.edu/deafed/970417x.htm
Kelly, D., Forney,
J., Parker-fisher, S. & Jones, M. (1993). The challenge of attention
deficit disorder in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. American
Annals of the Deaf, 138(4), 343-348.
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