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Promoting Resilience in Deaf Adolescents

  • Pamela Luft
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the unique conditions and circumstances that both promote and prevent deaf adolescents from successfully preparing to assume roles and responsibilities of adulthood. As adolescents, their life path has begun to assume a certain trajectory with developmental successes and challenges resulting from circumstances, events, and decisions that occurred much earlier. Therefore, this chapter examines some of the antecedent factors and conditions that can intensify over time and ultimately become important influences on adolescence and early adulthood. This chapter focuses on deaf adolescents born with a hearing loss or who acquired it before age two; these individuals are identified as having congenital (at birth) or prelingual hearing losses. The majority of deaf children with prelingual hearing losses are born to hearing parents who often struggle to communicate clearly with their deaf infants (Zaidman-Zait, J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ 12:221–241, 2007; Zaidman-Zait & Young, J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ 13:55–59, 2008). Hearing loss prevents the spoken language that surrounds the infant from mapping onto the language centers of the brain (Easterbrooks & Baker, Language learning in children who are deaf and hard of hearing: Multiple pathways, 2002). The evidence for this is significant delays in language development that begin in the deaf child’s infancy and often extend throughout their school years (Friedmann & Szterman, J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ 11(1):56–75, 2005; Mayne, Volta Rev 100:1–28, 1998; Moeller, Pediatrics 106:1–9, 2000; Newcomer & Hammill, Test of language development-primary 3, 1977). And despite having normally distributed range of intellectual abilities, the majority of deaf students graduate high school with reading and academic content knowledge 5 or more years below their normally hearing peers (Moores, Educating the deaf: Psychology, principles, and practices, 2001; Traxler, J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ 5:337–348, 2000). One of the important markers of potential risk for deaf children is failure to meet age-appropriate milestones, beginning with language.

Keywords

Hearing Loss Cochlear Implant Vocational Rehabilitation American Sign Language Deaf Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Luft
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Special Education, Deaf Education ProgramKent State UniversityKentUSA

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