Family Communication Self-Evaluation Checklist

I recently came across this Family Communication Self-Evaluation checklist.  I believe it illustrates several points (does the child have access to ALL of the same information as hearing peers?  is communication easy for both parents and children? etc.) that are crucial for parents to consider when choosing a method of communication/education for their child with hearing loss.  I have only read this excerpt, not the entire booklet, so I do not know what, if any, communication methodology the authors support.  However, I believe that the points presented align well with a listening and spoken language approach to educating children who are D/HOH.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Am I continuing to use a communication method because of what I have been promised will happen or because of what I have observed in my child?


  • How much progress has my child has my child made in the area of communication over the last six months?  How does this compare to the gains made by a hearing child of the same age?


  • How does my child try to communicate with me most of the time?


  • Is my child using speech/sign/gestures more often than before?


  • Does my child understand most of what I say when I am not adding gestures?


  • Can we communicate easily enough so that I am able to talk with my child about what is happening?


  • Does my child have access to the same information as hearing siblings?


  • Do I enjoy communicating with my child, or is it always a frustrating experience?


  • Am I frustrated when communicating with my child?


  • Does my child seem to be developing positive self-esteem?


  • Does my child feel successful in communicating with others in his(her) life?


  • Is my child frustrated when communicating (i.e. withdrawn, increasing tantrums)?


  • Do I frequently find myself using gestures to help my child understand what I mean?

Adapted from My Turn to Learn: A Communication Guide for Parents of Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children (S. Lane, L. Bell, and T. Parson-Tylka.  Elks Family Hearing Resource Centre, Surrey, British Columbia, 1997).

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