Hearing loss is more than a medical condition. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of environmental factors on the psycho-social development of deaf children. These studies reveal that the degree of hearing loss, additional handicap and age at the onset of deafness have a negative relation to psychosocial adjustment of students. However, there has been a positive relation between psychosocial variables and other independent variables like use of hearing, speech, intelligibility, academic achievement and communication methods at school. The findings of this study suggest that, it is not only deafness but environmental factors are also influential on the psychosocial adjustment of deaf students (Polat, 2013).
Overview of the topic
This paper describes the various psycho-social dimensions in relation to deafness. It is a very common medical condition especially among the adult working population. Its impact on communication has largely led to deterioration in quality of life. Resultantly, people with hearing loss may perceive their social skills to be poor and experience reduced self-esteem. This happens if hearing impairment and a poor coping strategy contribute to a failure in their roles and duties.
Failure to seek medical attention causes hearing impaired individuals to be disabled and handicapped. Disability refers to the inability to perform an activity whereas being handicapped is the disadvantage resulting from such a disability. One could be handicapped in terms of their personal relations, psychological well-being, and social integration (Monzani, 2008). In audio logical definition, deafness is a condition whereby development of communication skills occurs originally through the visual channel and also where current modes of communication are primarily visually based. Some people with hearing difficulties choose to identify themselves as deaf and even prefer to associate with the deaf community.
Some recent studies show that, the condition of hearing loss can impact greatly on a person’s lifestyle and their social roles in life. Some children grow up and exhibit behavioral problems, others may become withdrawn or aggressive, socially adjusted or maladjusted and quiet or outspoken. Mostly, such individuals are accused of not paying attention or daydreaming. This is caused by the complexity of language, poorly articulated speech or distance from the speech.
As children grow older and peer-dominated their personal and social problems increase. In adolescence, others rebel against wearing visible hearing devices which leads to personal identity problems. They fail to understand the implications of their own impairment since hearing abnormally is ‘normal’ for them. Nevertheless, in most occasions, they feel different and isolated. However, these psychosocial problems must be recognized for what they are and not an inherent personality factor. Understanding the perceptual implications of all types of hearing loss sheds some light on the inexplicable behavior which drives us to the range of potential solutions.
Massive effort is invested to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing through vocational practices. Adequate numbers of licensed and trained teachers are employed to offer such children with special education. Appropriate curricular resources like hearing aids and speech reading computer programs, are focused on the needs of the students. Moreover, technology enhances the lives of individuals with difficulties in hearing.
In America, the social security programs provide deaf people with supplemental income that allows them to settle as well as Medicaid benefits (Luckner, 2000).
Psychologists suggest that professionals must pay attention to things like; the cause, the degree of the loss and the progressive nature of the loss when one develops hearing impairment to enhance their condition. The more severe the loss, the greater the impact can be on psychological development. Professionals should possess a good grasp of both the physical realities of the individuals’ hearing loss, as well as where individuals feel they belong on the cultural community of hearing loss (Luckner, 2000)
Misconceptions normally are not perfectly true. Some of the misconceptions about people who are hard of hearing comprise; that everyone with hearing loss uses sign language and read lips-not all people with hearing loss communicate the same way. Another is, talking louder will help a person with hearing loss to understand. Here, increasing volume is only part of the solution though clarity is crucial too.
Luckner J.L, Ed.D (2000) ,Issues in Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:>Retrieved on 23rd July 2013from www.unco.edu/ncssd/resources/issues_dhh.pdf.
Monzani. D.et al (2008), Psychological profile and social Behavior of Working Adults with Mild or Moderate Hearing Loss :> Retrieved on 23rd July 2013 from www.actaitalica.it/issues/2008/2-08/monzani.pdf.
Polat .F. (2013), Factors Affecting Psychosocial adjustment of Deaf Students: University of Manchester :> Retrieved on 23rd July 2013 from http://jdsd.oxfordjournals.org.
Oberg .M. (2008), Approaches to Audio logical Rehabilitation with Hearing Aids: The Swedish Institute for Disability Research:>Retrieved on 23rd July 2013 from www.liadiva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:404/FULLTXT01.
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