For Parents

Click on the following sections for resource information…

Parent Mentoring

Has your baby just been diagnosed with a bilateral, sensori-neural hearing loss?

Would you like to share this with a parent who has been in a similar situation?

Parent mentoring is available to families who have a child diagnosed with a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

The aim is to bring together parents of babies who have a newly diagnosed hearing loss, with ‘experienced parents’ for the purpose of support, practical information, and linkages to support networks and early intervention service providers.

Deaf Children Australia has trained a number of parent mentors who have a child with a hearing loss to be one of your supports. The mentors have been in a similar situation to you, and asked themselves similar questions and many more. We can offer you a number of visits with one of our mentors to help you through the initial phase after diagnosis.

Contact the Deaf Children Australia Helpline on 1800 645 916 or email helpline@deafchildren.org.au for more information about the availability of parent mentoring in your area.

Parent Support Groups

Parents raising a child with a hearing loss understand that there are many challenges and rewards involved. The benefits of peer to peer support for parents include:
• Provision of emotional support by someone who has traveled a similar path
• Empowerment by sharing of stories and experiences
• Knowledge enhancement through discussion about strategies and tactics
• Instilling hope and confidence in what the future holds

Deaf Children Australia supports the establishment of local parent support groups and provides ongoing assistance with hosting of activities and provision of information workshops.

Parent support groups are located throughout Australia. In some states, a support group may be referred to as a POD (Parents of Deaf). Please note that these groups operate independently of Deaf Children Australia, so any enquiry you have specific to an existing group and their activities should be addressed to them directly.

Why join a parent support group?

Support groups can provide your family with:
• Opportunities to share experiences, ideas and knowledge
• Social interaction with other parents as well as deaf and HOH children
• One on one support
• Access to information through workshops and discussion
• Support to effectively advocate for your child
• Opportunity to lobby for improved services

Parent support groups can be established by one family who wishes to meet other parents who have deaf children, some are established by a small group of families and other groups are established by professionals who work with families of deaf children.

Deaf Children Australia can assist you to establish a support group in your local area. Every group will have different goals. Some are predominantly established for social purposes, whilst others focus on lobbying.
Some things to explore before deciding to approach Deaf Children Australia about establishing a group include:
• What do you want your group to achieve for its members?
• When and where will you meet and how often?
• How will you promote your group and get other parents involved?
• Do you have enough time to commit to being an active and contributing member of the group?
• Is there a person who is willing to take on the leadership/ coordination role for the group?
• What resources will you need (eg newsletter writer, financial support, event organisers etc) and how will you secure these?

How can Deaf Children Australia help?

Deaf Children Australia can offer support in establishing a local group, as well as working with an existing group to develop their skills and leadership. We work with the group’s leaders, providing support as requested. Deaf Children Australia can:
• put you in contact with other successful parent groups for ideas and information
• provide financial support to assist with initial administrative costs
• work with you to ensure your group has access to public liability insurance
• help you develop ideas for activities and promote your activities
• offer you skills development training and information sessions on topics of interest to your members
• provide secretariat support, including access to our existing resources

Read more…

Stories from the Parent Support Groups

Read Sandi Walters’ story of her experiences with her daughter Kaitlyn and why she started the Hear Together Mornington Peninsula Parent Support Group.
Sandra Rosenberger started the New Connections Parent Support Group in 2012 with the support of Deaf Children Australia because, as she says, “I noticed a big lack of connections for families…” Read more…

Parenting Workshops

We have many years of experience in working with parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and understand the unique rewards and challenges involved.

These interactive workshops offer parents an opportunity to raise any parenting questions in a safe and supportive environment. These draw on the experience and strengths of the parents who participate.

Discussions may involve:
• Parenting challenges
• Discipline
• Sibling rivalry
• Self care and nurturing

Aims

• To provide a safe place for parents to consider their particular challenges in parenting children with hearing loss
To explore parenting roles and family values
To encourage participants to develop and enhance their parenting strategies
To affirm participants’ strengths in parenting
To develop positive strategies in dealing with unwanted behaviours
To provide opportunities for mutual support, exchange of stories and ideas
To promote the value of effective communication between parents and children
Who do I contact to ask for this service?

Contact Deaf Children Australia on 1800 645 916 or email info@deafchildren.org.au.

Click here to read what Alison, a workshop participant, says about the program.

Other participants have also said:
“Great forum for parents to meet each other and to discuss issues openly and honestly. Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
“Lovely to talk to other parents, vent concerns and feel affirmed.”
“I have gained courage and strength from the other parents. I feel like I have a fan club behind me saying, ‘Yep, that’s it!’”
“It is good to realise you are not alone.”
“You realise other parents with kids the same age are going through the same things, so it’s not just me!”
“Fantastic! Would have liked more time. Great seminar.”
“Learning new strategies was helpful.”
“The best workshop I have attended. Please have more of these. It was fantastic.”
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Beacon Program

If your baby has just been diagnosed with a hearing loss the chances are you have a million questions running through your head. Will my child get married? How will my child make friends? What school will my child go to? Will my child be able to drive? Will my child have their own children?
 
Connecting and talking to other parents who have asked themselves similar questions can be reassuring.
 
For many families this isn’t what you expected for your child. 90 per cent of deaf and hard of hearing children are born to hearing families who have little or no experience of deafness. We understand that you may be seeking additional information and support.

Parent Consultations

2005 National Parent Consultation

During June- July 2005 Deaf Children Australia met with parents from South Australia, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales.
We wanted to hear from parents the issues facing them on a state to state basis, and to encourage them to share information across borders. It was the first step to building a national parent network.
Read full report on 2005 National Parent Consultation.

2007 National Parent Consultation

On 26th and 27th March Deaf Children Australia hosted the 2nd National Parent Council which was attended by parent representatives from South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales.
Read full report on 2007 National Parent Consultation

Deaf Education Review Victoria 2007/2008

In 2007/2008 the Victorian Government commissioned a review of Deaf Education in the State.
During this period Deaf Children Australia, the Parents Federation for Hearing Impaired Children Victoria (PHICV) and other Deaf Education stakeholders were represented on the steering committee who informed the review. Deaf Children Australia, along with PHICV, worked to ensure that families across the state could voice their opinions and views about the adequacies and inadequacies of the current system, as well as give their vision for how deaf education should be.
Read the submission here.
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Transition to Primary School

The Victorian Deaf Education Institute, Taralye and Aurora have been working together to assist families with young deaf or hard of hearing children with their transition into primary schooling.

In 2013 a Transition to Primary School Kit (for children who are deaf and hard of hearing) was completed and has been distributed to all families with a child who is deaf/hard of hearing starting school in 2014. The kit has also been distributed to visiting teachers of the deaf, early intervention centres, schools of the deaf, and deaf facilities.
The kit contains handouts useful for families with a child who is deaf/ hard of hearing, teachers of the deaf, early intervention workers and mainstream teachers. A children’s story book, ‘Blue Bear Gets Ready for School’ will be published in the near future and will be an additional resource for the Transition to Primary School Kit. Blue Bear has hearing aids and is getting ready to start his first day of school.

This information is now available in additional languages: Arabic, Dari, Simplified Chinese, Turkish and Vietnamese as well as a video in Auslan. Click here to access the VDEI website and download the information packs.

Resources

Using Sign Language in Early Childhood Education Article

The Victorian Deaf Education Institute recently posted an article by Dr. Breda Carty on the benefits of using sign in early childhood for both deaf and hearing babies. According to research cited in the article, signing with deaf babies stimulates the development of language neural pathways within the brain which will help with speaking later on. Tools such as DCA’s CommuniCate allow families to get involved and tackle the challenge of a new language together.

Click here to view the article, or click here to learn more about CommuniCate.

All-In Inclusion Guide

Northcott have created the All-In inclusion guide to help everyone include children with disabilities in their activities. Simply choose the situation your child requires help with, your child’s disability and age group (infant, pre-school or school aged) and you will receive a report that can easily be printed and shared with teachers or caregivers.

Click here to start creating your guide!

Hearing Loss Simulator

Many children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents who have never experienced deafness before. Starkey Hearing  Technologies have created a hearing loss simulator to create awareness of the hearing loss experience. It is designed to mimic sensorineural loss and has the option to hear a range of sounds as they sound with normal hearing, mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss and severe hearing loss. Check it out here!

Other ways we can help...

Parents raising a child with a hearing loss understand that there are many challenges and rewards involved. The benefits of peer to peer support for parents include:
• Provision of emotional support by someone who has travelled a similar path
• Empowerment by sharing of stories and experiences
• Knowledge enhancement through discussion about strategies and tactics
• Instilling hope and confidence in what the future holds
Deaf Children Australia supports the establishment of local parent support groups and provides ongoing assistance with hosting of activities and provision of information workshops.
Parent support groups are located throughout Australia. In some states, a support group may be referred to as a POD (Parents of Deaf). Please note that these groups operate independently of Deaf Children Australia, so any enquiry you have specific to an existing group and their activities should be addressed to them directly.
Why join a parent support group?

Support groups can provide your family with:
• Opportunities to share experiences, ideas and knowledge
• Social interaction with other parents as well as deaf and HOH children
• One to one support
• Access to information through workshops and discussion
• Support to effectively advocate for your child
• Opportunity to lobby for improved services
Parent support groups can be established by one family who wishes to meet other parents who have deaf children, some are established by a small group of families who want their deaf children to meet other deaf children and other groups are established by professionals who work with families of deaf children.

Support groups can provide your family with:
• Opportunities to share experiences, ideas and knowledge
• Social interaction with other parents as well as deaf and HOH children
• One to one support
• Access to information through workshops and discussion
• Support to effectively advocate for your child
• Opportunity to lobby for improved services
Parent support groups can be established by one family who wishes to meet other parents who have deaf children, some are established by a small group of families who want their deaf children to meet other deaf children and other groups are established by professionals who work with families of deaf children.
How to set up a parent support group

Deaf Children Australia can assist you to establish a support group in your local area. Every group will have different goals. Some are predominantly established for social purposes, whilst others focus on lobbying.
Some things to explore before deciding to approach Deaf Children Australia about establishing a group include:
• What do you want your group to achieve for its members?
• When and where will you meet and how often?
• How will you promote your group and get other parents involved?
• Do you have enough time to commit to being an active and contributing member of the group?
• Is there a person that would take on the leadership/ coordination role for the group?
• What resources will you need (eg newsletter writer, financial support, event organisers etc) and how will you secure these?
How can Deaf Children Australia help?

Deaf Children Australia can offer support in establishing a local group, as work with an existing group to develop their skills and leadership. We work with the group’s leaders, providing support as requested. Deaf Children Australia can:
• put you in contact with other successful parent groups for ideas and information
• provide financial support to assist with initial administrative costs
• work with you to ensure your group has access to public liability insurance
• help you develop ideas for and promote your activities
• offer you skills development training and information sessions on topics of interest to your members
• provide secretariat support, including access to our existing resources

Parent Support Group Contacts

Victoria

Bendigo Parent Support Group
c/o Kennington Primary School
Contact: Suzanne Pizzo
Email: spizzo1@bigpond.com

Goulburn Valley Parent Group
c/o 5 Sutcliffe St Waaia Victoria (covering Shepparton and district)
Contact: Nikki Tuddenham
Email: tuddenham2@bigpond.com

New Connections – Inner South East Region Parent Support Group
Contact: Sandra Rosenberger
Phone: 0425 718 527
Email: new.connections.family@gmail.com

Hear Together Mornington Peninsula Parent Group
Contact: Sandi Walters
Phone: 0402 678 558 Email: HearTogether@hotmail.com
Facebook: Hear Together Mornington Peninsula

New South Wales

Contact Parents of Deaf Children in NSW to get in touch with local Parent Support Groups:

POD Northern Sydney
Meets fourth Monday of the month at 7pm
Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Room, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon

POD Macarthur
Meets third Wednesday of the month
Wattle Grove Community Centre, Village Way Wattlegrove

POD Mid North Coast
Meets regularly in the Taree area
Contact: Robyn Herps via SMS 0428 688 612 to register your interest

POD North West
Meets second Monday of every month at 7pm
Glenwood Neighbourhood Centre, 72 Glenwood Park Drive, Glenwood

POD Central Coast
Meets on a regular basis
Please contact Linda Brady on 4332 1803 or 0413298653 to register your interest

Queensland

POD Queensland
Contact: Tina Carter
Phone:0414 930 576
Email: pod.qld@gmail.com

POD Brisbane
Contact: Tina Carter
Phone:0414 930 576
Email: pod.qld@gmail.com

POD Gold Coast
Contact: Isabel Kennedy and Becky Rose-Mundy
Email: madijakk@bigpond.com or grrosemundy@gmail.com

CHIPS (Children with Hearing Impairment Parent Support) Townsville
Contact: Julie Neilson
Email: CHIPS@discussions.eq.edu.au or jniel40@eq.edu.au

For more information contact Deaf Children Australia on (freecall) 1800 645 916 or email info@deafchildren.org.au

Northern Territory

DeafNT Parent Support Group
Phone: (08) 8945 2016 or 0429 452 016 Email: info@deafnt.org.au

Tasmania

Tasmanian Families of Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children
Contact: Shannon Fox
Ph: 0418 109 429  Email: shannonfox@bigpond.com

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