Graduate project

A handbook for parents of multiply handicapped deaf children

The Office of Demographic Studies at Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C. reports an increasing number of Multiply Handicapped Deaf Children in the United States. Progress in medical sciences has accounted for the fact that many children who would have died in childbirth, diseases, etc. are now being saved and these children are Multiply Handicapped Deaf. Parents of these children are hearing persons in nine out of ten cases and often lack personal experience with deafness and are thereby unprepared to cope with caring for a Multiply Handicapped Deaf Child. The major purposes of the handbook are to give parents a clearer perspective of deafness, ideas on how to handle their Multiply Handicapped Deaf Child and to suggest ways of working at home with their children in building skills in the learning process. Definitions of terms in the areas of hearing impairment and multiply handicapped as well as information about the types of educational placement and programming are covered in a question-and-answer format. Ideas about how to change inappropriate behavior and how to develop basic self-help skills are given. Activities that can be done in the home using household materials are suggested in order to provide parent-child experiences which ultimately should lead to healthy parent-child relationships. The handbook is intended to be a guide that is used according to individual needs. Although there are specific activities and management techniques included, it is only intended to be introductory. The Appendices include more in-depth reference materials and list addresses of organizations and agencies that parents can contact to obtain additional information.