Gallaudet University Press

5:3 Thursday, March 20, 2003

What Has Been Your Experience?

Parents of Deaf Children Share Their Feelings About
Services They've Dealt With During the Early Years

Written by renowned scholars Kathryn Meadow-Orlans, Donna Mertens, and Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, Parents and Their Deaf Children: The Early Years describes experiences of parents with early intervention services, schools, health, and educational systems. Parents and Their Deaf Children stems from a nationwide survey of parents with six-to-seven-year-old deaf or hard of hearing children, followed up by interviews with 80 parents. In the design of this project the authors explain, “Parents of 6- and 7-year-old children were targeted for the following reasons: (1) All children with even a mild congenital hearing loss will probably be identified by age 6; (2) all of the children and parents would have had an opportunity to participate in (or would have failed to receive) intervention services; (3) a fairly narrow age span would increase the homogeneity of parental expectations for developmental progress; and (4) parents would be close enough in time to the infant and preschool years to provide accurate retrospective reports and also sufficiently removed to gain some perspective on those experiences.”

The authors not only discuss the parents’ communication choices for their children, but also describe how parents’ experiences differ, especially for those whose children are hard of hearing, have additional conditions, or have cochlear implants. You can read more about the results of this distinctive study in chapter seven, Minority Families: Wave of the Future. Also, order Parents and Their Deaf Children and take advantage of your exclusive subscriber discount.

Trying to decide whether or not your child would benefit from a cochlear implant? The Parents Guide to Cochlear Implants by Patricia M. Chute and Mary Ellen Nevins explains in a friendly, easy-to-follow style each stage of the process. Parents will learn about device options, how to choose an implant center, the surgery itself, what to expect at switch-on, cochlear implant limitations, ways to enhance language development and learning at home, school issues, and more. Also included are brief stories by parents whose children have had implants that provide reassuring actual experiences to parents considering the procedure for their own child. In addition, the appendices offer a rich source of resources. Read about the post-implantation stage in chapter five and order The Parents Guide to Cochlear Implants.

The upcoming “Genetics, Disability, and Deafness” conference, which takes place on April 2-4, 2003, promises to be an insightful exploration on the latest concepts in genetics as they relate to disability and deafness. Featured keynote speakers include Louis Menand, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Metaphysical Club; Alan Guttmacher, Deputy Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; and Michael Bérubé, Paterno Liberal Arts Professor in Literature, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA. Also, Benjamin S. Wilfond has been added to the program; he will be speaking about bioethics and genetics. For more information and to register by the extended deadline date of March 24, 2003, go to http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/gupiconference/index.html.

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