Abstract of M. Levinger lecture

M. Levinger


M. Levinger1, L. Orlev2
Sapir Academic College, IsraelThe institute for the advancement of deaf
persons in Israel

The population of deaf and hearing-impaired parents usually live
between two worlds of hearing people: grandparents and children, a
situation that may create a high involvement of families of origin and
affect the parental role. In addition, they have to develop appropriate
ways to relate to the social stigma regarding their disabilities and deal
with the need to explain their disabilities to their children in a
constructive manner. Often, parents also find it difficult distinguishing
between the normal developmental stages of children and their
consequences on relations between parents and children, and the
difficulty that stems from the fact that this is a family that has parents
with disabilities. Despite different research findings showing that
parents with disabilities can be appropriate parents for their children,
the deaf and hearing-impaired parents sometimes hold the false
believe that they cannot be good parents due to their disabilities.
Therefore, we must move the focus of discussion from the question of
whether these people may be parents, to finding of support and
assistance so that they can improve their quality of parenting. In our
lecture, we'll present the unique needs of the deaf and hearingimpaired
parents' population and working model components that
were developed as working tools by Institute for the Advancement of
Deaf Persons in cooperation with the Disabilities and Rehabilitation
Department of JDC-Israel and Beit Issie Shapiro, in the frame of the
program "Family as an independent life support system." The model
was based on accumulated experience after instructing six groups of
parents across the country and includes theoretical knowledge in the
deafness field, interference skills and detailed parental issues typical
to deaf and hearing-impaired parents.

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