Parents and Their Deaf Children

The Early Years

First Edition

By Kathryn P. Meadow-Orlans, Donna M. Mertens, and Marilyn A. Sass-Lehrer

Categories: Parenting / Family
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Hardcover : 9781563681370, 256 pages, April 2003
Ebook : 9781563682407, 256 pages, October 2009
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To correct the paucity of information on deaf or hard of hearing children and their parents’ experiences with early intervention services, researchers explored these relationships as part of the National Parent Project. From this investigation, Parents and Their Deaf Children details the experiences of a group of parents and their deaf children from the first identification of the latter’s hearing loss through their early years in elementary school. Renowned scholars Kathryn Meadow-Orlans, Donna Mertens, and Marilyn Sass-Lehrer reveal here for the first time the goals and expectations of the parents, the children’s achievements and troubles, and the families’ satisfaction and disappointment with 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. The authors not only discuss the parents’ communication choices for their children, but also provide how parents’ experiences differ, especially for those whose children are hard of hearing, have additional conditions, or have cochlear implants. Also, one chapter is devoted to families from minority cultures. The final section of this distinctive study offers solid advice for other parents of deaf children and also the professionals who serve them.


Kathryn P. Meadow-Orlans is Professor Emerita at Gallaudet University.

Donna M. Mertens is a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at Gallaudet University.

Marilyn A. Sass-Lehrer is a professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University.