Making Decisions

Professionals in education, other parents and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing may have differing opinions about the best way for your baby to learn and communicate. As parents, however, you have the right and responsibility to make decisions.

In this section, you will learn about the decisions that you will find yourself making. You will also find out how to get the information you need to make decisions that seem most appropriate for your baby.

Early Decisions

As soon as your baby has been identified as deaf or hard of hearing, the decision-making process begins. All parents make decisions daily on behalf of their children.  Some of the decisions you will make as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing require investigation of topics you have not considered before (e.g., approaches to communicating, hearing devices and technology for your child, early intervention program options, accessing support options).  Other decisions are those day to day ones…deciding to adjust routines to encourage your child's development and the decision to celebrate each gain.  It is important to know that experienced parents are flexible in making decisions. What works at first might need to be adjusted as the child's needs change.  Decision-making can feel a bit less “weighty" when you know they can be altered over time. 

When making decisions, keep in mind that

  • A child who is deaf or hard of hearing needs access to communication with the world.
  • Professional educators, audiologists, doctors, other parents and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing will have experiences and opinions to share with you.
  • You may feel confused, because sometimes ideas and opinions may contradict each other.
  • Discuss what you are hearing and learning with your family-infant specialist and others on your support team.

Access to Communication and Daily Life

The goals for families and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are usually the same: access to communication and daily life for everyone.