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Julianne Gold Brunson, MA Journey to Wellness, Inc. Charlotte, NC

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1 Julianne Gold Brunson, MA Journey to Wellness, Inc. Charlotte, NC
Creating Confidence Julianne Gold Brunson, MA Journey to Wellness, Inc. Charlotte, NC

2 The Basics In the beginning, only TWO things matter:
Build an attachment and connect often Lay the foundation of a relationship using any and every method of connection (hugs, eye contact, smiles, gestures, play, attention and time) Knowledge that one is loved is not dependent on words Find a way to communicate Lay the foundation of language using any and every method (gestures, signs, speech, cued speech) that might work. Methods can vary by setting, time, person

3 It doesn’t matter how you communicate, only that you do!
Studies show the better you communicate, the better the child’s self perception Every child is different. However the child can communicate, learn to do it too: If the child signs, learn to sign If the child can lip-read, learn to enunciate (be aware of fatigue effects, environ. variables) Use any residual hearing and technology Degree of hearing loss can change overtime Conversational exchanges and depth of dialogue matters (go beyond “yes” and “no” questions), beware excessive “directives” or commands

4 Myths All deaf kids can learn to lip-read
Learning ASL prevents learning of speech or English Non-verbal deaf people are less successful Non-verbals can’t talk

5 Impact of Stigma Underlying current is Shame
Being identified as “hearing impaired” or “deaf” is WORSE than the risk of being judged by others as socially incompetent (e.g., stupid, rude, snobbish, no personality, un-cooperative, socially unskilled), Thus, all the effort and attempts to hide or minimize hearing loss results in the HIGH likelihood of being judged by others. Being socially incompetent is a MORE TOLERABLE a neg. identity than that of being viewed as a “hearing impaired” person. This can be communicated by family in subtle ways.

6 Evaluate your beliefs: stereotypes and neg
Evaluate your beliefs: stereotypes and neg. image re: hearing impairment. Often drives the effort to “normalize” the child; as someone with normal hearing Due to the risk of violating implicit social rules (e.g., talking or playing TV/radios too loud, asking for repetitions), the undercurrent of shame is substantial, is experienced as embarrassment, inadequacy, humiliation, and Can impede the search for more effective solutions to comm. difficulties beyond the use of a hearing aid.

7 Unspoken Assumed Limitations
Children/adults can internalize your unrealized limiting assumptions about deaf people. Parents can become too over-protective Self-acceptance is a process Seek out deaf adults as mentors and role models Find a deaf or hard of hearing peer group for your child

8 Be mindful of birth order and corresponding responsibilities
Include child in making decisions Reverse assumed norms: Hearing siblings can go to deaf camps Captioned TV for whole family See OC movies as a family Attend social events in Deaf/HH community

9 Major “Take Home” Message
Don’t worry: All types of communication methods and aids can lead to successful futures. Work to find the combination that best fits your child. It’s a process; Stay engaged Be flexible and open to change

10 Research Suggestions:
Check out: Do google searches on deaf careers including: on deaf pilots, deaf lawyers, deaf physicians, deaf artists, deaf actors, etc… Try:


12 Julianne Gold Brunson, MA
Julianne recently joined Journey as program director and returned to Charlotte, NC after completing a clinical psychology pre-doctoral internship at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in Rochester, New York. She won the coveted 2005 Pre-doctoral Award for Excellence in the Psychology Training Program at URMC. Upon completing this internship, she worked as a staff therapist at the renown and internationally recognized Deaf Wellness Center (DWC), a psychology clinic for deaf individuals in Rochester, New York with Dr. Robert Pollard, Ph.D. and Amanda O’Hearn, Ph.D. At the DWC, she provided clinical services to deaf and deaf/blind patients, assisted in deaf and psychological research projects, and co-starred in two Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills training films produced by DWC and Marsha Linehan.  Julianne will be defending her doctoral dissertation in Nov, 2008 and hopes to complete her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2009.

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