A descriptive study of parent involvement in early intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and have additional special needs

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Wendy Brooks Wieber (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
John Habel

Abstract: Abundant studies have documented the benefits of early intervention in overcoming the detrimental effects of congenital hearing loss. This research has lead to past and current recommendations by the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing on the timeliness of early intervention. Studies have focused on loss to follow-up for diagnosis and early intervention. The CDC (2015) estimated that of the infants diagnosed in 2013 with hearing loss, 36.8% were not documented as receiving early intervention. Most studies of these children and parents are substantially quantitative. Studies regarding barriers specific to families who have children with additional special needs are few. This study addressed a knowledge gap by exploring the lived experiences of 10 parents of 9 children in North Carolina who received early intervention for their child’s hearing loss and other special needs. Through semi-structured interviews, parents spoke of making choices in early intervention when their child has competing special needs. Parents’ adjustments to the diagnosis of hearing loss were complicated by stressors associated with their child’s additional special needs and co-occurring ambiguity or delay in the diagnosis of hearing loss. Families found strength in information, experience, faith and positive partnerships with professionals. Parents identified costs as obstacles to their children receiving early intervention services and a source of stress for parents. Financial support for hearing equipment and early intervention activities enhanced the family’s ability to participate in their child’s progress. Parents prioritized their child’s needs for intervention in a hierarchy, which often placed hearing, speaking and communicating as a lower priority than other skills. Improved training in communication with parents about hearing loss across disciplines could help provide a critical mass of practitioners to inform parents’ understanding of the impact of hearing loss. Educational and program materials for all providers could address this need. The inclusion of training in family-centered intervention and inter-professional training for educators and health providers is essential. Educational materials for parents tailored to hearing loss when a child has other special needs, could impact parents’ understanding of hearing loss and early intervention.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, Early Intervention, Infant Toddler Program, Special Needs, Teachers of the Deaf
Parents of deaf children -- North Carolina -- Case studies
Parents of children with disabilities -- North Carolina -- Case studies
Deaf children -- Care -- North Carolina -- Case studies
Children with disabilities -- Care -- North Carolina -- Case studies

Email this document to