When expectation meets experience

Parents' recollections of and experiences with a child diagnosed with hearing loss soon after birth

Megan Gilliver*, Teresa Y C Ching, Jessica Sjahalam-King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine parents' recollections of and their experiences with bringing up a child diagnosed with hearing loss at a very young age. Design: Based on the analysis of informal parent discussion groups, four open-ended questions were formulated to solicit information about parents' expectations following diagnosis, as well as experiences and challenges when raising a child with a hearing loss. Study sample: Forty parents of children, aged between three to five years, who were diagnosed with hearing loss before the age of three years. Results: Parents' responses revealed strong support for early intervention, high expectations for their child's development, and desire for information tailored to individual needs. Parents also reported anxiety relating to their perceptions of the significance of consistent device usage on their child's development. Further concerns arose from their observations of the difficulties experienced by their child in real-world environments despite consistent device usage, and their perception of their child's language delay despite early intervention. Conclusions: The findings point to a need to support parents to form realistic expectations based on current knowledge. Implications for clinicians to provide improved management of children with hearing loss are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S10-S16
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood hearing impairment
  • Early diagnosis
  • Early intervention
  • Outcomes
  • Parents' expectations

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