Academic journal article Communication Disorders Quarterly

Parent-Professional Collaboration to Promote Spoken Language in a Child with Severe to Profound Hearing Loss

Academic journal article Communication Disorders Quarterly

Parent-Professional Collaboration to Promote Spoken Language in a Child with Severe to Profound Hearing Loss

Article excerpt

This article focuses on issues of collaboration in delivering language intervention services to learners in educational settings birth through 21 years of age. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of parent-professional collaboration in a partnership in which a mother assumed the role of "parent as teacher." Results indicated a positive effect of this type of partnership on the spoken language proficiency of an elementary school-age child with a severe to profound hearing loss. Implications for professional preparation and professional development programs are discussed.

The role of parents in the provision of education services to children with special needs has undergone many changes during the past several decades. Increasingly, these changes have promoted collaboration between parents and professionals and the development of various types of partnerships. Historically, special education has been approached as "child centered" and primarily "professional directed" (Knight & Wadsworth, 1999). However, an important shift in the roles of parents and professionals began during the 1970s with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 and continues in the new millennium with the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), hereafter referred to as IDEA '97.

Minimal parameters of a basic partnership and parent-professional collaboration are specified in the text of IDEA '97. For example, the law mandates that parents be members of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team; information provided by the parent be included in initial evaluation/assessment and reevaluation data; concerns of parents for enhancing the education of their child must be considered in the development of a child's IEP; and parents can object to a child's IEP through a formal due-process procedure (Fishbaugh, 1997). In addition, compliance with the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 ensures that parents and students with disabilities have a right to access special education records and may challenge information irrelevant to education.

Other possible parameters of the parent and professional partnership are not specified in federal law but are incorporated in various models of service delivery and addressed in current professional literature. Among them is the type of partnership in which parents share responsibility for the delivery of direct intervention services to their child. In other words, the parent can assume the role of "parent as teacher." In this type of partnership, professionals may provide direct services to the child, but they also assume the role of indirect service provider. As such, professionals educate parents in the goals of instruction and promote parental competence in the implementation of instructional strategies that are used with the child. This type of partnership is especially prevalent in home-based, or distance early intervention education programs such as that offered by the John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles.

The family as a factor in the school learning of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) is an issue of continuing concern for educators (Bodner-Johnson, 1985). The role of parent as teacher is strongly supported by proponents of oral communication for learners who are D/HH, particularly with regard to young children (Estabrooks, 1993; Koch, 1999; Lieberth, 1982; Ling, 1988; Pollack, 1984). The concept of home schooling young children who are D/HH, with parents assuming the role of teacher, was formally established in the United States over half a century ago by Louise Tracy, who founded the John Tracy Clinic (see Note 1). According to Garrity and Meyer (1993),

   The John Tracy Clinic was founded on the belief that parents, or those
   fulfilling that role, are the most constant models and change agents in a
   child's life.... By sending lessons directly to parents, the John Tracy
   Clinic places responsibility and control in the hands of parents. … 
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.