Mothers of deaf children in the 21st century. Dynamic positioning between the medical and cultural-linguistic discourses

Liesbeth Matthijs*, Stefan Hardonk, Jasmina Sermijn, Martine Van Puyvelde, Greg Leigh, Mieke Van Herreweghe, Gerrit Loots

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Traditional research examining the communicational choicesmade by families with deaf children tends to emanate from the premise that families engage with either of the two grand discourses on deafness (i.e., the medical or cultural-linguistic perspective). This study investigated hearing mother's engagement with the educational options for their child froma dynamic, poststructural perspective. Three Flemish mothers were interviewed in-depth at the child's ages of 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24months. The datawere analyzed within a theoretical model that describes the positioning process of themothers. This method yielded alternative explanations for former findings concerningmothers' decision-making processes, especially the difficulty of learning sign language as a second language in an effort to provide a bilingual-bicultural education, and highlighted the importance of having rich experiences. It further showed that a bilingual-bicultural position was scarcely available and poorly supported for thesemothers. These findings are discussed in relation to recent international consensus statements on best practices in early intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-377
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Erratum can be found in "Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education" (2018), 23(2), p. 186.

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mothers of deaf children in the 21<sup>st</sup> century. Dynamic positioning between the medical and cultural-linguistic discourses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this