KidsAudiologist

Communicating and decision making with deaf children and young people

Posted on: December 26, 2015

Resources to support Improving participation of children and young people in audiology:

Deaf Communication Matters (Disability Matters, 2015) This free e-learning module uses video of deaf children and young people sharing some of the typical barriers they encounter and showing the learner simple steps to take and adjustments to make to overcome those barriers and enable successful interaction with them. The module takes about 20 minutes to complete.

How to involve children and young people with communication impairments in decision-making (National Children’s Bureau, 2008)

The My World tool from the Ida Institute can help facilitate an understanding of hearing loss from the child’s point of view. “The tool consists of three different environments: a classroom, a home, and an outdoors area. The child can place movable figures and everyday objects in the various environments to describe communication successes and challenges in every day life. By playing with the tool components, the child can externalize the hearing loss and discuss how they communicate with others in a concrete and non-threatening way. The tool can help you uncover information about the child’s communication patterns, reinforce positive patterns and formulate a strategy for coping with every day challenges.”

Counseling Strategies for Tweens/Teens with Hearing Loss is a pre-recorded eLearning course which is free to view from AudiologyOnline. “Tweens and teens with hearing loss face many challenges and often have no one to talk to about them. This presentation will describe a range of strategies designed to give teens an opportunity to talk to us as we redefine our role to listener and supporter.”

Fostering Self-advocacy in Elementary-Aged Students with Hearing Loss is a pre-recorded eLearning course which is free to view from AudiologyOnline. “Fostering self-advocacy in elementary-aged students with hearing loss is a complex, multi-parameter endeavor. This course will introduce adaptation of the instructional concepts of coaching and gradual release of responsibility involving the constituents (the student, the family, and the school personnel) and the 3-prong continuum involving the “operator” (the student), the “equipment” (ALDs), and the “listening environment”. Specific examples will be provided to optimize the course participants understanding of these concepts.” A transcript the presentation is also available to read here.

Tips for Teens – Use Your IEP Meetings to Learn How to Advocate for Yourself is a factsheet for older children and teenagers explaining how self-advocacy is a key step in becoming an adult – looking out for yourself, telling people what you need, and knowing how to take responsibility – with advice on how to do this.

Treating adolescents- Why won’t they follow my advice?, (Hearing Journal, Oct 2011) contains strategies for avoiding fruitless power struggles with adolescents and increasing the likelihood that they will follow your recommendations.

“Mind the Gap” (Phonak Junior News (Canada) Issue 7, July 2011) “Quite often, audiologists and teens stand on two sides of the “hearing aid/FM use” gap. Audiologists are keen to see teens and pre-teens with hearing loss use their hearing aids full-time. Our patients, however, often decide not to adhere to this recommendation. The opposing positions create tension, leaving audiologists feeling frustrated and patients feeling angry and unsupported.

How to mind this particular gap? Teens are not known for their gregarious nature with adults, so we need to consider how we share the “talk time.” Estimate the amount of minutes given to the patient to carry the conversational ball; it’s quite possible we do virtually all of the talking.

Instead of attempting to establish a rapport with this age group, we might strive to develop “common ground.” Although these concepts may sound interchangeable, in clinical settings developing common ground means a concerted effort to exchange perspectives specifically to help each person understand the other’s views. Until we know what a teen’s views are regarding his or her life with hearing loss, we can’t expect to be trusted, and we will not be made privy to specific dilemmas.”

Elkayam, J., & English, K. (2003). Counseling adolescents with hearing loss with the use of self-assessment/significant others questionnaires. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 11(9), 485-499.

English, K. M. (1997). Self-Advocacy for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Austin, TX: Pro-ed.

English, K. M. (2002). Counselling Children with Hearing Impairment and Their Families. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

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