It’s a Hearing World

It's a Hearing World

Children with disabilities are more likely to experience challenges in their daily lives. In particular, this study explores parents’ perspectives of the social and emotional well-being of their children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH). Despite the importance of research in this area, few studies have addressed the views of parents of young children who are DHH in regard to social and emotional experiences. A combination of social theories guided this research – the social model of disability and the “looking glass self” theory. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten hearing, English speaking parents of children who are DHH. All parents noted the significance of social and emotional development as a marker of well-being in their children’s present and future lives. Data provided evidence of how parents and children seek to adapt and cope with threats of rejection and exclusion. Inclusive practices and policies, however, have not eliminated the societal stigma and lack of understanding that children who are DHH encounter on a daily basis. The authors call for additional research that examines the perspectives of children who are DHH as a way of generating best practices across contexts to support these children.

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