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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Family contributions in treatment of the hearing-handicapped child of school age : an exploratory survey of parents of Jericho Hill School pupils, Vancouver, 1959-1960. Brown, Joanne Victoria


Improved techniques (particularly electrical apparatus) make it possible to teach hearing-handicapped children the use of language at an age when their motivation and their capabilities for this learning are at their peak. The result has been to ease considerably, the burden of basic educational training, and also to permit the balancing of this with the broader socialization of the child. This makes early diagnosis more important than ever; but it also makes family participation a vital ingredient. Two companion studies - one concentrating on the pre-school child, and the other on the school-aged child - have been undertaken to sharpen this part of the focus - the family, parental, and related influences which bear on the progress in his early years now possible for the hearing-handicapped child. With the co-operation of the Parent-Teachers Association of the Jericho Hill School, and the School personnel, information was obtained from some eighty parents of children of school age residing in British Columbia, who responded to a questionnaire enquiry. This was followed by interviews with families living within Great Vancouver. The area of enquiry included a) the implications of the handicap, and b) the contributions made by parents in the treatment of the child; an assessment being made of more helpful and less helpful family situations respectively. Information and interpretation is an evident need, for both children and parents, and as training potential as well as behaviour consequences. Attributes which distinguish the more helpful family from the less helpful are indicated. Some general findings relate to (a) community attitudes and (b) services for the hearing-handicapped child. Because of its exploratory nature, this study must leave several questions unanswered; but the importance of early diagnosis and co-operative relationships between clinics, parents, and school, are clearly indicated. Social Work Services are particularly relevant if the differential needs of children (in family terms as well as degrees of hearing loss) are to be met.

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