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Title: Congenital deafness and interaction: The impact of different disability models
Authors: HARDONK, Stefan 
Mouvet, Kimberley
Matthijs, Liesbeth
Loots, Gerrit
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Þjóðarspegillinn 2012, Reykjavík - Iceland, 26 October 2012
Abstract: Research into issues of childhood deafness is predominantly based on a medical approach, in which diagnosis and treatment of impaired hearing capacities are emphasised. Most contemporary early intervention programmes also focus on development of spoken language when supporting children with congenital deafness. Furthermore, technological developments in the field of cochlear implantation (CI) have resulted in new opportunities for spoken language development, and they have strongly influenced parents’ care-related decision making. With the development of CI has come an even stronger focus on spoken language development, especially among hearing parents – who represent 90 percent of all parents of congenitally deaf children. By contrast, many deaf parents approach their child’s deafness from a cultural-linguistic perspective, in which their child belongs to a minority with their own language, culture and identity. In this approach, sign language is considered the first language, and the concept of disability is rejected. Hardonk et al. demonstrated the important role of different constructions of deafness in parents’ care-related decision making. However, until today little is known about the interplay between parents’ construction of deafness and the quality of interactions between mothers and their deaf children. Therefore, we conducted in-depth analysis of the interactions of three mother-child dyads in relation to parents' constructions of deafness and their preferences with regard to communication mode. The results show mother-child interactions aligning with components of parents’ construction of deafness, such as their expectations regarding social participation, and their relations with family members and professionals. Our findings inspire further research, policy and practice.
Keywords: Disability models; congenital deafness; parents; construction of deafness
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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