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Conversations About O.U.R. Children Harold Johnson & Janet DesGeorges Investing in Family Support Conference Scottsdale, Arizona October 5, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Conversations About O.U.R. Children Harold Johnson & Janet DesGeorges Investing in Family Support Conference Scottsdale, Arizona October 5, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conversations About O.U.R. Children Harold Johnson & Janet DesGeorges Investing in Family Support Conference Scottsdale, Arizona October 5, 2009

2 O.U.R. Children2 Guiding Questions What are we talking about? Why should I have to deal with this problem? What do I need to know? How is this problem now being addressed? If I decide to get involved, what would I be expected to do? Where can I go for more information?

3 O.U.R. Children3 What are we talking about? Collin Ray 11 th Commandment video –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK3Rpo7_i-Mhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK3Rpo7_i-M

4 O.U.R. Children4 Why should I have to deal with this problem? As a parent... –...the better I can observe, understand, and respond to my child, the more......my child will learn and the faster they will acquire language....effective I will be in sharing with others what my child CAN do....I can protect my child from situations in which they are risk to become a victim of abuse, or neglect....rapidly I will recognize and respond to possible instances of abuse, or neglect my, or other children experiences.

5 O.U.R. Children5 Why (cont.) As a professional... –...the better I can observe, understand, and respond to my student, the more......the faster they will learn and acquire language...effective I will be in sharing with others what my student CAN do....I can protect my student from situations in which they are risk to become a victim of abuse, or neglect....rapidly I will recognize and respond to possible instances of abuse, or neglect my, and other students experiences....+ likely I will meet my legal requirement as amandatory reporter of possible instances of CA/N.

6 O.U.R. Children6 What do I need to know? We must be prepared for the reality that children with disabilities experience CA/N at a rate that is significantly higher than that of their nondisabled peers (Sullivan & Knuton, 2000) –9% of children w/o disabilities Occurs most frequently during elementary school ages –31% of children w/ disabilities Occurs most frequently during preschool ages We must be aware that abuse occurs anyplace that the abuser and the child can be alone (Shakeshaft, 2004).

7 O.U.R. Children7 What (cont.) We must be able to observe, understand and respond to the different types of abuse, i.e., –59.0% Neglect –10.8% Physical Abuse – 7.6% Sexual Abuse – 4.2% Emotional Abuse – 13.1% Multiple Maltreatments (Child Maltreatment Report, 2007) *Note: This data does not differentiate between the occurrence of CA/N as experienced by children with and without disabilities.

8 O.U.R. Children8 What (cont.) We must realize that... –...while presence of a disability is noted as a risk factor for CA/N (Child Maltreatment Report, 2007), incidences of CA/N, as experienced by children with disabilities, are considered to be substantially underreported (Sullivan, Brookhouser, Scanlan, 2000) due to a lack of professional preparation by human services personnel (Bonner & Hensley, 1997) and current reporting protocols. –...available research indicates a significantly higher rate of sexual abuse experienced by individuals who are d/hh (Obinna, Osterbaan, & DeVore, Wendy, 2005; Obinna, Krueger, Osterbaan, Sadusky, DeVore, 2005; Willis & Vernon, 2002).

9 O.U.R. Children9 What (cont.) We must understand the impact of abuse upon childrens ability to learn, e.g., –Impact of CA/N: (Wang, C-T., & Holton, J. (2007) Poor Physical Health... –e.g., chronic fatigue, altered immune function, hypertension, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity Behavior Problems... –e.g., aggression, juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, abusive or violent behavior High-risk Behaviors... –e.g., a higher number of lifetime sexual partners, younger age at first voluntary intercourse, teen pregnancy, alcohol and substance abuse

10 O.U.R. Children10 What (cont.) Impact (cont.) –Social Difficulties... e.g., insecure attachments with caregivers, which may lead to difficulties in developing trusting relationships with peers and adults later in life –Poor emotional and mental health... e.g., depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and attempts, post-traumatic stress disorder –Cognitive dysfunction... e.g., deficits in attention, abstract reasoning, language development, and problem-solving skills, which ultimately affect academic achievement and school performance; Note: Information applies to all children, there is insufficient data re. children with disabilities.

11 O.U.R. Children11 What (cont.) We must understand and be prepared to deal with the common causes of abuse, i.e., –Neglect Too little income & affordable housing Need to work two or more jobs Mental health problems Substance abuse (Freundlich (2007) –History of Maltreatment –Domestic Violence –Age When Individual Became a Parent –Single Parent Household –Knowledge and attitude re. parent/child interactions (Goldman, Wolcott, & Kennedy, 2003)

12 O.U.R. Children12 What (cont.) We must also understand the additional causes of abuse as experienced by children with disabilities, i.e., –(Hibbard & Desch, 2007) limited access to info re. personal safety and/or sexual abuse prevention may be accustomed having their bodies touched by adults parental perspective that their child does not need information re. sex education as the child matures child with disability may be conditioned to comply with the commands of adults child with disability may not understand the difference between appropriate/needed discomfort associated with therapy and the discomfort associated with inappropriate actions taken on their body

13 O.U.R. Children13 What (cont.) Finally, we must understand the reasons children who are d/hh are at particular risk for abuse, i.e., –May lack the language skills needed to effectively understand, or convey to others that they have been sexually abused. (Vernon & Miller, 2002) –Conditioned to comply with authority figures, are naive re. sexual norms, and may misinterpret the attention of the abuser in relation to feels of being loved. (Sullivan, Vernon, & Scanlan, 1987) –Lack of sufficient school based learning opportunities and instructional materials needed to recognize, avoid, or report instances of abuse and neglect. (Obinna, et al., 2005) –Perception that children who are d/hh do not need information concerning appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior. (Obinna, et al., 2005)

14 O.U.R. Children14 How is this problem now being addressed? "I said Somebody should do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody." Lily TomlinLily Tomlin

15 O.U.R. Children15 How is this problem now being addressed? Learning the basics: OBSERVING- –Opening our eyes to the issues –Learning the basic statistics –Observing skills in our roles in the EHDI system and beyond. UNDERSTANDING – –We have an obligation individually and collectively to make a difference. – Ill know what to do the next time… RESPONDING – –Institutionalizing the message to the EHDI system –Resources specifically for families/professionals in deafness

16 O.U.R. Children16 Hands & Voices, in collaboration with Michigan State University, Child Help, and the National Exchange Club Foundation, do not accept the status quo. We do not accept that while our children are at greater risk to experience abuse and neglect, the powers-that-be remain focused on other topics that are deemed to be more pressing and more important. We can lead the way by enhancing our ability to observe, understand, respond to, and protect our children through three simple actions.

17 EncourageThe Colorado Experience: O.U.R. Childrens Safety

18 O.U.R. Children18 Dipping our toes into the water… First Questions we are Asking –Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Logs –You have to ask the questions before you have the answers Speaking Up… CO H&V – Taking it to the Streets –With each other – H&V board and staff, GBYS Trainings –To Groups: college classes, Part C meetings, Audiology offices, Service Coordinators, parent meetings, Exhibit tables at events… –Investigating in our communities Permission for Joy

19 O.U.R. Children19 Three Actions 1.Pass-it-on: Share this presentation, and it related resources, with at least one other parent, and then ask them to pass-it-on. 2.Share the Story: Have a conversation with your child about abuse and neglect (see attached Helping Parents Talk to Children document), then share the story of how it went so that other parents can learn from your experience. 3.Recognize the best and Challenge the Rest: Ask the professionals who work with your child what they are doing to protect your child from abuse and neglect, then share the resulting reactions, information, resources, programs, and questions so that we recognize the best and challenge the rest. Send the resulting information to: Janet DesGeorges or Harold Johnson.

20 O.U.R. Children20 If I decide to get involved, what would I be expected to do? Recognize... –...that as hard as child abuse and neglect is to think about, it is MUCH harder for our children to experience Accept... –...that if we do not act, more children will experience more abuse and neglect and for even longer periods of time Learn.... –...how to observe, understand, recognize, and PROTECT our children

21 O.U.R. Children21 If I decide...(cont.) Share... –...information concerning child abuse and neglect with key individuals with whom you interact Recognize... –...those individuals, agencies, school, organizations, etc., that are effectively dealing with the issue of child abuse and neglect as experienced by children who are d/hh via posting information on the Deaf Education Community of Learners Concerning Child Abuse & Neglect wiki site

22 O.U.R. Children22 If I decide...(cont.) Join... –...your colleagues at the Deaf Education Community of Learners Concerning Child Abuse & Neglect (http://deafed-childabuse- neglect-col.wiki.educ.msu.edu/) to...http://deafed-childabuse- neglect-col.wiki.educ.msu.edu/...find resources...share what works...collaborate with you peers as we work to Observe, Understand, Respond & Protect our children.

23 O.U.R. Children23 Where can I go for more information?

24 O.U.R. Children24 Responses - Questions – Concerns – Action! What do YOU know re. CA/N? What do YOU now want to know re. CA/N? What concerns do YOU have re. getting involved with the O.U.R. Children work? Where do YOU go from here?

25 O.U.R. Children25 Contact Information Harold Johnson/Professor - Michigan State University –343A Erickson Hall, East Lansing MI – [v], [video phone], Harold A. Johnson [Skype] –www.deafed.netwww.deafed.net Janet DesGeorges/Outreach Director – Hands & Voices + Executive Director, Colorado Families for Hands –730 South 44 th Street, Boulder, CO –(303) [v], Janet DesGeorges [Skype] –www.handsandvoices.org/www.handsandvoices.org/

26 O.U.R. Children26 References Bonner, B.L. & Hensley, L.D. (1997). State efforts to identify maltreated children with disabilities: A follow-up study. Child Maltreatment, 2(1), Child Maltreatment Report Retrieved on 6/7/09 from: Freundlich, M. (2007). Time for reform: Investing in prevention: Keeping children safe at home. Retrieved on 6/5/09 from: eport_final.pdf eport_final.pdf Goldman, J., Wolcott, D., & Kennedy, K.Y. (2003). A coordinated response to child abuse and neglect: The foundation for practice. Retrieved on February 8, 2008 from: Hibbard, R.,A., Desch, L.D. (2007). Clinical report: Maltreatment of children with disabilities. Pediatrics, 119(5), Johnson, H. (2009). Child abuse and neglect: Professionals preparation and ability to recognize and respond. Unpublished survey.

27 O.U.R. Children27 Obinna, Jennifer, Krueger, Sarah, Osterbaan, Constance, Sadusky, Jane M, DeVore, Wendy (2005). Understanding the Needs of the Victims of Sexual Assault in the Deaf Community: A Needs Assessment and Audit. Retrieved on 6/5/09 from: Shakeshaft, C. (2004). Educator Sexual Misconduct: A synthesis of existing literature. Retrived on 6/5/09 from port.pdf port.pdf Sullivan, Patricia M., Brookhouser, Patrick, & Scanlan, M. (2000). Maltreatment of deaf and hard of hearing children, Ch. 7, pp In Hindley, Peteer & Kitson, Nick (Ed.) Mental Health and Deafness. Whurr Publishers, London & Philadelphia Sullivan, P.M., & Knuton, J.F. (2000). Maltreatment and disabilities: A population-based epidemiological study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(10),

28 O.U.R. Children28 Sullivan, Patricia M., Vernon, McCay, & Scanlan, John, M (1987). Sexual abuse of deaf youth. American Annals of the Deaf, 32(4), Vernon, McCay & Miller, Katrina (2002). Issues in the sexual molestation of deaf youth. American Annals of the Deaf, 147(5), Wang, C-T., & Holton, J. (2007). Total estimated cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States. Retrieved on 2/3/2008 from: aa_pew_economic_impact_study_final.pdf aa_pew_economic_impact_study_final.pdf Willis, Richard G., & Vernon, McCay (2002). Residential psychiatric treatment of emotionally disturbed deaf youth. American Annals of the Deaf, 147(1), pp 31-37


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