What is the impact of an infant's diminished hearing on the infant and its parents? How does communication develop in cases of diminished hearing? How does diminished hearing affect social and cognitive development? What types of early interventions can improve communication and development? The World of Deaf Infants presents the results of a 15-year research study that addresses these questions. Through their research, perhaps the largest long-term comparison of deaf and hearing infants, Meadow-Orlans' team provides a comprehensive and intimate look into the world of deaf infants. For a core group of 80 families, that included all four combinations of parent-infant hearing status, data was collected longitudinally at 9, 12, 15, and 18 months. Mother-infant interactions were recorded and observed in both structured and unstructured settings; mothers' facial, vocal, and tactile behaviours during interactions were related to infants' temperament and stress; mothers' linguistic and communication behaviours, as well as their overall responsiveness, were related to children's language; and the effects of support provided to mothers were evaluated and explored.
The results were dramatic, particularly with regard to infant attachment behaviours and the importance of visual attention in the overal development of deaf infants. This comprehensive work provides a foundation on which researchers, teachers, students, and parents can build to further enhance the world of deaf infants.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc