The Negev Bedouin population in southern Israel, a minority undergoing great social change, has a higher incidence of hearing loss than that reported elsewhere but has hardly been studied. Caring for a child with hearing loss often engenders parental stress because of the many tasks involved. Difficulty in accessing information and services, the lack of public transportation nearby, and other aspects of the living conditions of Negev Bedouin parents present additional challenges. These difficulties are further compounded by the unique socio-demographic and cultural characteristics of this indigenous population. This article presents the parenting experience of 20 hearing Bedouin mothers of children with hearing loss, explored in a qualitative phenomenological study. The findings indicate that the mothers’ perceptions of the child’s hearing loss affect how they cope with the birth and rearing of the child, their view of the child, and their attitude toward medical interventions. These findings, which portray an experience that is unique in many ways, contribute to the understanding of how an underserved, indigenous, and traditional population responds to congenital hearing loss. The findings also reveal the importance of the terminology with which parents describe their child’s hearing loss and the unique meanings it may have. Such knowledge is of particular importance for culturally sensitive and effective provision of social services and therapeutic interventions.
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Alhuzail, N.A., Levinger, M. Perpetual Silence, Not Silence for Moments: Hearing Loss of Children as Perceived by Hearing Bedouin Mothers. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 35, 377–389 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-018-0533-9
- Hearing loss
- Bedouin population
- Bedouin mothers
- Bedouin children