The following information covers a wide range of statistics and research findings that apply to families with deaf children:
- Parental stress is highly correlated to the age of identification of hearing loss for the child, with later diagnosis being correlated to higher elevations of stress for parents
- 90% of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are born to parents who have typical hearing. Hearing parents usually experience the diagnosis differently than parents who are deaf or hard of hearing. Because hearing parents may not be as familiar with Deaf culture or the needs of Deaf individuals, they may interact with their child in a way that does not visually and tactilely cater to their child’s needs.
- Men and women experience the diagnosis process differently:
- Mothers report feeling shock, anger, fear, uncertainty about the future, feelings of inadequacy, and feelings of regret
- Fathers are more likely to contain their feelings of distress in order to provide emotional support to their spouse. Research also indicates that fathers are more likely to hold out hope that their child’s hearing will develop over time.
- The initial feelings of loss and grief experienced by parents at the time of their child’s diagnosis usually decrease in intensity as the child develops communication skills. However, some social situations or life events may trigger these feelings again as the child grows up.