Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Special Education

First Advisor

Erik Drasgow

Abstract

Parents of children diagnosed with severe-profound sensorineural hearing loss are selecting cochlear implants at an increasing rate and when their children are very young. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are typically involved in habilitation activities following implantation in an effort to increase children's access to listening and spoken language. These clinicians depend upon parents to participate in habilitation activities that may lead to favorable outcomes for children. However, little evidence exists regarding parents' perspectives on the services and supports audiologists and speech-language pathologists provide in this team effort. Parents can offer valuable feedback to clinicians regarding the type and quality of services they receive. Data gathered systematically from parents can aid in the design and delivery of services. The purpose of my study was to investigate parents' perceptions about the importance of various services and to measure their satisfaction with the support provided to them. Results of the study revealed that parents were overwhelmingly positive about audiologists' and speech-language pathologists' services and support, but preferred services that directly benefitted the child over those that supported the parent. Parents favored a family-centered approach in services, but indicated that the greatest overall positive difference in services and support was for their child, followed by the positive difference for themselves, and then for other family members. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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