my baby's hearing
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coping with diagnosis: parent views
how do we decide?
successes...great and small
what does the future hold?
working with professionals
parent talk

parent to parent
  mother, father, and baby

The great majority of children who are identified with a hearing loss are born to hearing parents. In most cases there is no history of hearing loss in the family, and most know no other families in the same situation. This often leaves parents feeling very alone, and many find themselves searching out others who understand what they are going through. During this time parents find themselves being thrust into new and unfamiliar roles. They suddenly feel the need to become experts on the subject of hearing loss in order to make the right decisions for their child, as well as become advocates for the services their child needs immediately, as well as in the years to come. Initially, this task seems overwhelming for most parents.

The goal of this section is to link parents to other parents who have walked in their shoes and have agreed to share their stories, experience, expertise, and advice. You will read how other parents reacted to the diagnosis of their child's hearing loss, as well as what they found helpful for coping during this time. You will also learn what they have found to be helpful to them when faced with some of the daily challenges of raising a child with a hearing loss. They will share their successes, as well as their fears, and will offer tips for working with professionals.

Coping with the Diagnosis: Parent Views
For some parents acceptance of the hearing loss comes easily, while others may struggle with it for some time. For most, it is an ongoing process. In this section parents share their reactions to the diagnosis, coping strategies, and tips on how they dealt with the reactions of others.

Working With Professionals
Upon learning that their child has a hearing loss, parents find themselves taking their child from appointment to appointment with a variety of professionals. Becoming part of the team and learning to work with professionals is crucial, and in this section parents offer suggestions on how to do this effectively.

How Do We Decide?
Once a child's hearing loss is diagnosed, parents are faced with many decisions. In this section parents offer advice on understanding your rights as a parent, how to know which decisions need to be made immediately, which ones can wait, what to do if you disagree with professionals, and how to find out what your choices and options are.

Parent Talk
Parents know their child best. In this section parents offer practical hints on issues that are often of concern to new parents. Some of the topics discussed include: deciding which communication mode is best for your child, discipline, toilet training a child who has a hearing loss, and how to avoid overprotecting your child.

Successes…Great and Small
Success comes in all sizes, and often we forget that it takes many small accomplishments to add up to the big ones. Learning to celebrate even the smallest successes helps parents to be able to see how far they and their child have come, rather than to focus on how far they still have to go. In this section, parents offer suggestions on how to keep sight of this and celebrate the little successes along the way.

What Does the Future Hold for My Child?
Dreams and expectations often change when a parent learns that their child has a hearing loss. In time, however, parents come to understand that their child is still the same child he or she was before the diagnosis. In this section veteran parents share how their initial expectations for their children changed through the years, and how their children are doing today.