Information Gathering

Preparing to Make Informed Decisions

Each time you prepare to make a decision, you will want to gather information from a variety of sources and individuals.

Many decisions become clearer as you watch how your baby responds to what you try!  This is a critically important piece of information…what works for your child and family?


The professionals that you consult will vary, depending on the questions you ask and the decisions you make.

  • For questions about hearing aids and cochlear implants, your audiologist will have many answers for you, or better yet, several choices to present.
  • If you are trying to find a communication approach to use at the beginning of your baby's language development, then your family-infant specialist will support you in getting started.  You will want to rely on many sources of information.  
  • The title of the professional helping you is not always as important as the experience that the professional has with the question you are asking.

Talk to Other Parents with Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing

As you talk with other parents, look carefully at the similarities between your children. Parents can be very supportive of each other, and know things that no one else can possibly know, but they can also be protective of the choices that they made. If your child has different needs than their child, then your choices may be different.  Regardless, other parents understand the challenges of decision making.

Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Adults who are Deaf or hard of hearing can help parents by sharing their professional and personal experiences. Adults who are Deaf or hard of hearing have “lived experiences” to share with families, and these perspectives are helpful.  They can help you understand what it means for your child to be deaf or hard of hearing.

Individual mentors for parents and children may be available as well.

  • Some states have “deaf mentor” programs.  In these programs, trained deaf professionals provide support to families of young children. 
  • Like parents and professionals, the opinions of Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults may be influenced by their own experiences.
  • In some states, Hands and Voices groups offer mentoring from other parents, called a Guide by Your Side. Check to see if your state has a Hands and Voices chapter.

Books & Other Resources

There are now several catalogues that specialize in books, videotapes, and materials that might help parents trying to learn about children who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Parents who like to search the Internet will find an abundance of sites, such as this one. Some sources are carefully researched, and some reflect opinions. Opinion-based Internet sources may or may not have accurate information, but you will find many points of view.