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How Families Unite | Let Us Show You The Way


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What is meant by the term unity? Unity implies harmony among parts to form a whole – the condition of many, becoming one. Family togetherness requires that each member of the family contribute to the family whole.

Parents, as the heads of the family, are indeed important in the development of the unit.

However, each individual member is key in maintaining the unit’s harmony. Each child contributes his/her personality, wishes and desires to add structure to the family unit just as a variety of colors, textures, and forms harmonize and provide structure to a beautiful landscape painting.

Parents of deaf and hard of hearing children encounter a unique challenge to relations unity. Since most parents of deaf and hard of hearing children are themselves hearing, they experience the feeling of being “different” from their child.

Some parents have stated that the child who was expected to be very much like them, after diagnosis of deafness, became a stranger with whom they had little in common.

The deafness affecting their child was a real difference that seemed to set them apart. Their deaf or hard of hearing child became the focus of the relationship unit rather than an active member of it.

The fact that hearing parents and deaf children do not experience the world in the same way demands adjustments in the family system.



How Families Unite | Let Us Show You The Way

Aunt reading to niece who has partial hearing loss

Condition affecting all members, influence unity in different ways. Deafness is a condition that has an impact on the family’s overall communication process and the entire communication system within the home.

The single largest issue facing parents in maintaining relations harmony is the task of involving all members in home communication.

For parents who are hearing, a main source of stress is the need to communicate with their deaf child in a different manner than they do with their hearing child.

Research has shown that deaf children with deaf parents who share a common language have an advantage when  attempting a variety of life’s tasks. Communication within relations creates the bond that supports the structure of the family unit.

Hence, communication is the backbone of a strong relationship structure. When there is inadequate  communication, the outlets for venting frustration and working through difficult situations as well as celebrating happy moments or subtle enjoyments are often limited.

Everyone’s interactions, both healthy and no so healthy, are forms of communication.



How Families Unite | Let Us Show You The Way

  Both grandma and grandson suffer from hearing loss.

If you think back on some of your most enjoyable moments as a child, you may remember a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house where you listened to them describe their past life experiences.

Or, you may remember sitting around your own parents dinner table where, during a meal, you discussed important things that happened to you on a particular school day.

Or, finally, you might recall Sunday trips by car to the local ice cream parlor where you anticipated telling your parents your favorite flavor of the day. Each one of these scenarios involves hearing and non-hearing members conversating. This is an important part of the relations system.

These conversations represents an important vehicle for developing intellectual and social skills, and for developing a sense of belonging. Only when the deaf child is accepted as an equal participant in the system, will the family be able to provide the full range of support that the child need.

Early communication difficulties between hearing parents and their deaf children may disrupt the process of conversation and future interactions. If deaf children have limited participation in their relations interaction, their access to family life is restricted.

A deaf or hard of hearing child is an important part of the family structure. If the child is separated, left out, or ignored while the family communicates – isolation occurs.

Parents may act differently with their deaf child than they do with their other children, altering family functioning, and, in turn, affecting future interactions.



Your child may have slipped into the habit of irresponsibility due to a number of factors: lack of knowledge of the child’s part; lack of expectations on the part of adults in the child’s world and /or the hearing public; lack of access to communication, and lack of appropriate devices, services, and resources.

How Families Unite | Let Us Show You The Way

Child with a serious hearing impairment get tested

When your child is introduced to and learns how to use a TTY, alarms, relay operators, interpreters, hearing aids, and TV closed captioning then he mini-minimizes his reliance on others for vital needs.

Some deaf people own hearing dogs, have visual alarms to alert them to important noises, such as their baby crying; and have houses designed with light switches in convenient locations, such as on the outside of rooms so that people can flick a light to get the attention of the deaf person inside the room. This takes the place of knocking on a door for deaf people.

However, having these items does not necessarily create “equal” access. A hearing aid simply helps with residual hearing – it does not turn the child into a hearing person.

A closed-captioned TV helps only if the child is able to follow the written English. A TTY and relay operator require practice and some written language capabilities.

An interpreter is useful in formal situations and must adequately match the child’s communication system.

Hearing aids are often a point of struggle for children and parents. Talk with your child’s audiologist to understand the type of hearing loss your child has and how the hearing aid might benefit him.

Teach your child the advantages of wearing an aid, but do not force the child to do so. Often children go through stages; they may choose to wear an aid only in certain situations; they may actually like the aid if their friends wear theirs, much in the same way that braces on the teeth have become more acceptable; or they may find the aid uncomfortable due to a bad fit or the nature of the amplification.

Listen to your child’s point of view regarding this. Do not make a struggle out of it since this allows the child to displace other feelings and situations onto this struggle.


Check out these amazing tools designed to teach & promote quality, effective, integrated learning. Go to:

Self-esteem Elevation For Children Coaching Certification

Special Kids Learning Series CD:-Lets Go To

Toddler Talk: Techniques & Games – Proven Language Therapy Techniques

Creating Inclusive Learning Environment For Young Children: What To Do Monday Morning, 1st Edition

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Author:Ronald Kennedy

Ron attended the Art institute of Chicago in 1980 and Harold Washington College in 1997. He graduated from Malcolm X College in May, 2000 majoring in 'Hearing Loss in America' and 'Children with Hearing Disabilities Around the World' (Ron has another interesting website, https://lovefolks.com regarding Love, Dating & Relationship). A Graduate of Malcolm X College in 2000 with an associate's degree in applied science, Ron also worked with the 'Chicago Area Autopsy Service' which is affiliated with the Medical Examiners Office, near downtown Chicago. The service covered all the local and suburban hospitals when reports of a death is called in.

4 responses to “How Families Unite | Let Us Show You The Way”

  • Ruby July 26, 2017 at 3:17 pm Reply 

    This article certainly brings awareness to the many factors influencing unity in families where members have hearing difficulties.
    What role does outside support play in the functioning of these families in daily life? Do public organizations have a role in helping these families learn how to meet the needs of all members?
    Thank you for this comprehensive information!

    • Ronald Kennedy July 28, 2017 at 4:10 am Reply 

      Hi Ruby and thank you for commenting. I’m glad you saw some value in my article, which I hope in turn, will add value and some understanding to families going through this type of situation. I was so surprised by how many families are affected by this illness, and are constantly seeking more information on this topic.

      When it comes down to signing, this is a ‘technique’ in today’s society I think we all should learn. Also, through continued education along with the use of special tools such as; games, cd’s, books, (physical copies & eBook formats) etc; the hearing then would be better equipped to communicate with the non-hearing throughout their daily activities and within their communities.

      There are also public high schools and colleges throughout the US, that cater specially to young students that are hearing impaired or has total hearing loss. (There were just too many to place on my site, so I recommend, if needed, to just ‘google’ up the nearest facility in your area).

      Ruby, I hope I’ve answered your questions. Let me know If you have any other questions or concerns.

  • GBIG July 27, 2017 at 6:53 am Reply 

    This is an interesting article. I did not know that most parents of deaf / hard of hearing kids are in fact fully hearing parents. This really surprised me. I had to read this item several times for it to sink in. I was wondering how I could help deaf children? I thought it was a great idea to put light switches on both the inside or the outside of the room, in order to get the deaf person’s attention. What a fabulous idea. So my question to you is what other great suggestions can hearing people do to improve the lives of deaf people?

    • Ronald Kennedy July 29, 2017 at 4:34 am Reply 

      Hi GBIG How are you?
      Correction regarding first link sent on the comment section. Here’s the right link for learning ‘sign language’ for toddlers cd:

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