Collaboration with parents of deaf and hearing-impaired children - Joanna Kosmalowa: EN
of deafand hard of hearingchildrenJoanna KosmalowaCollaboration with parents
General assumptions Parents of deaf and hard of hearing children love theirchildren and want for them all the best.If they lose the way – they do it by incidentand they are unconscious of doing so. After the diagnosis the parents are those who are in crisis,not the children; their life has changed irrevocably and theyneed support and therapeutic help. Despite your profession, keep in mind that your role is tohelp and support the parents.
What do you have to knowabout the grief? There are certain stages in people’sreaction to crisis: shock, recognition,denial, acknowledgement, and – finallyconstructive action. In some ways the response cycle isa cleansing process.
First - try to understandthe emotional state Observe your clients and make it clearwhere the parents are in the responsecycle. Accept the parents – who they are and howthey cope with their problems. Be awarethat all their feelings are natural, useful,and above all necessary.
Second – you are aprofessional Parents do not know many things you arewell aware of. The children are deaf or hard of hearing buttheir parents can be „mute” and totallyconfused. It is possible – they have losttheir competence to raise their children. You are the one prepared to cope withthis / you have to be.
Do not only act butcommunicate Explain what are you doing and thepurpose. Inform openly what are your expectationsof parents. Set goals, for parents but also for yourself.Do it in colaboration with parents. The language you use should be as simpleas possible. Check whether you arewell understood.
How to act? From time to time stop talking. Focus onlistening, it can be more effective and helpfulthan instructing, much more – thanadmonishing. Work on positive attitude towards parents.The more positive your expectations will be,the more likely you will get positive responsefrom the parents and the children.
Helping parents Parents need your full support beforespecialistsstart working with their child. Parents need help that accompaniestheir child’s therapy.
What is the essence ofparents counselling andguidance?Parents need to findtheir own wayfor developing the family life.Also how to meet the individual needsof each family member.
Family Problems Who workswith children? Fathers needed Family in thecommunity Hearing children
A helper is somebodywho .... Can listen to parents Feels empathy Is conscious of his own feelingsand willing to express them Accepts parents despitetheir needs and expectations Gives positive reinfoircements
A helper is somebodywho .... Understands family problems Is a source of knowledge Is sensitive; recognises and helps to recogniseindividual problems of the family Models parents’ behaviours Helps parents think in a realistic way
Evaluation? – YesDo not criticize. Do not judge.Appreciate!
Think about yourself• You as a helper are equallyimportant• Be aware of yourpossibilities• Set the limits• Communicatein a constructive way
At the beginningof the family therapy 3 – 5 „obligatory” meetings with a psychologistwho is a therapist as well in the group – 2-3 families individual meetings – 1 family Psychotherapy Teaching parents(psychological education)
normal development and normal psychological patternscontrolling human’s behaviourself cognition and getting to know othersmechanisms of human actionsmeans of coping with various problemssupporting child’s development.Psychoeducation meanseducationconcerning
How can parents accept themselves How to believe in ones own capabilities How to perceive and express feelings, especially when thefeelings are difficult to cope with How to establish the parent – child relation How to communicateWhat do we educateparents in?„Cold knowledge” aquired intelectually to a much lesser degree influences the realbehaviour of a person than so called „hot knowledge” based on one’s own experience.
A very effective form of non-professionalcounselling 30 – 40 meetings of support group for parents (a 1 year program)should be the foundation of the therapy system for parents withhearing impaired childrenSupport group for parents
What countsis not doing a lotbut puttinga lot of lovein what we do.Mother Teresa from Calcutta