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Families and children with hearing loss: grief and coping.

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  • 1Rhode Island School for the Deaf, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


Parental coping with the diagnosis of their child's hearing impairment has not received a great deal of research attention, despite the evident importance of it. Parental coping has been changing with the inception of newborn screening as we move from a parent-initiated model of diagnosis to an institution-initiated model. Coping now begins without any preparation, and without any time for parents to "enjoy" their child as "normal." The grief models, based on the death experience, usually employed to describe parental reactions to the diagnosis may also be inappropriate. Death grief is terminable whereas parental grief is chronic. There is not sufficient research on the long-term effects of chronic grief and how that impacts on parent-child bonding. There is evidence that our screening endeavors have far outstripped our habilitation efforts, leaving parents with a diagnosis but without support. This gap must be closed.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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