An Investigation of the Counseling Strategies Used by Pediatric Audiologists from the Perspective of Parents of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Student: Morgan Faldowski
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Minor: Education
Advisors: Donald M. Goldberg, Cara Hammond

Morgan FaldowskiThis study investigated the perspectives of parents of children who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing on the counseling they received from their pediatric audiologist.  Questions were asked to assess parents’ perspectives of their receiving informational and personal adjustment counseling at the milestones of hearing loss diagnosis, hearing aid dispensing, and enrollment in early intervention.  The researcher distributed an electronic survey to the target population, primarily through recruitment messaging to parent support groups.  The first conclusion was that, overall, parents were satisfied with the informational and personal adjustment counseling provided to them at all three milestones.  The second conclusion of this study was that children were diagnosed and fit with hearing sensory technology early.  The majority of parents reported that their children were diagnosed by 3 months of age and fit with hearing sensory technology by 6 months of age. The third conclusion was that, despite means indicating parent satisfaction with the counseling provided, open-ended responses indicated specific areas in which parents continued to want more support.  These areas included choosing the specific hearing sensory technology option and making a decision about the type of early intervention in which to enroll.

Morgan will be online to field comments on May 8:
Noon-2pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

36 thoughts on “An Investigation of the Counseling Strategies Used by Pediatric Audiologists from the Perspective of Parents of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing”

  1. Nice job Morgan! As a practicing pediatric audiologist it is interesting to see the responses you received. It’s unfortunate that despite your efforts to reach a wide/national sample that only 34 people responded. I’d be interested to know what states the respondents are from as different states have different resources and supports. It is wonderful to see that 62% of parents felt empowered and only 6% felt they received too much information. You also point out some important areas where pediatric audiologists can improve their skills (acknowledging emotions and empathetic counseling and using too much jargon in counseling both jumped out at me).

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my project! I was definitely disappointed by the limited number of responses, but I felt lucky that the parents who did complete my survey took the time to be extremely thorough, and gave me some great information through their responses to open-ended questions. You’re right- it would have been interesting to break down the responses by state and to look at the resources that they have.

  2. Why didn’t you ask us for title suggestions? I mean, just off the top of my head, “Turning a Blind Ear?”

    It’s genuinely really cool to see your project in all its finished glory, Morgan! Well done!

    1. Haha I decided to keep it simple this time, but I do like that one- keeping it in mind for my graduate capstone!! Thank you so much(:

  3. Morgan, while it was good to see the parents were, overall, satisfied, I thought the areas where there was less satisfaction was really intriguing, too, as they provide you with guidance as a future professional and also point to an area that may need further attention in future research. Congratulations!

    1. Hi Dr. Bostdorff! I completely agree- I was incredibly glad that participants took the time to leave such thorough responses to my open-ended survey items, because it was there that I really got a sense for areas where parents needed more support. Thank you so much for taking a look!

  4. Very interesting topic Morgan! I’m curious to know if a diagnoses at 3 months is early, late, or right on time? It seems that parents would notice something amiss before this age, but I’d love to know your thoughts.

    1. Hi Alysa! When babies are born, they are given a newborn hearing screening. If they fail their screening, they are referred for a diagnostic evaluation. So, if they were born with a hearing loss, the screening should catch that right away and ideally they would be scheduled for a diagnostic evaluation and be given a diagnosis by 3 months of age so that they can get the technology and/or early intervention services that they need. For children who develop a hearing loss after they are born, it’s a different story, and when a parent notices has a lot to do with the severity of the hearing loss.

  5. Great work! You’re always so impressive – you do wonderful work and are so modest about it. I can’t wait to see what you do in your future.

    1. Thank you Henry- that means a ton!! I’m so excited for you as well, and I can’t wait for the day that we all get to have a Black and Gold weekend reunion.

  6. Great job, Morgan! I am, as always, so impressed by the clear dedication and thoughtfulness that went into your IS. Parental perception of their child’s counseling is definitely an intriguing and vital topic to research in your field, and I cannot wait to see how you apply it in your future. Way to go!

    1. Thank you so much Sarah!! And thanks for reliving the whole process by listening to me talk about it constantly(:

  7. Hey Morgan. Well-done. Congratulations on completing your wonderful IS. Did you follow up with any of the parent participants? Did any want to know the results? Have you talked with any AUDs about your findings?

    1. Hi Dr. Johnson! I actually didn’t have any parents ask for the results of my study. I imagine that as parents of young children, many were probably too busy to follow up!

      I got the chance to talk about my study through interviews for grad schools, and then at an interview for a research position. It was pretty amazing to share my project with professors from other schools, and to hear that they found it interesting! Several times, I was asked questions that were way more in-depth than what I anticipated, and it was an incredible feeling to realize that I had answers to all of them- I feel like it really is a testament to what a valuable experience IS is.

      Thank you for stopping to take a look!

      1. Good point about the parents being busy 🙂. And, awesome that your IS was powerful and empowering during grad school interviews! Good luck to you!! 💥

  8. Congratulations, Morgan! You did a very nice job on your poster. I was interested if any of the parents talked more about their feeling overwhelmed in your qualitative responses. It looks like a potential area of more study and rich responses.

    1. Thanks Dr. Schen!! Yes, although the responses shown in the matrices on my poster indicate that parents were overall satisfied with the counseling they received, the responses to open-ended questions indicated more specific points at which parents felt overwhelmed. One recurring theme was that parents didn’t understand the purpose of enrolling their child in early intervention services until the sessions actually began. It’s definitely an area for future research, and makes me aware of the importance of clarification and giving parents time to both process the information and to ask questions.

  9. Morgan, this is an interesting study topic. First of all, your results are encouraging that the majority of participants were diagnosed before three months and then fitted with hearing aids before six months. When did the majority of children enter early intervention? Was it then prior to six months, quickly following the dispensing of the hearing aids? Did you list different early intervention options on your survey? That would be interesting to know what options parents are choosing and why. When you are talking about hearing sensory technology option, did the participants talk about CIs vs hearing aids? It would be interesting to find out their perception of support level when making decisions in regard to technology options as their child progresses through early intervention. Well done! Congratulations!

    1. Hi Dr. Keelor! I actually didn’t ask about early intervention, and after seeing the results that I got for diagnosis and dispensing, I wished that I had! I included that in my recommendations for future research.

      It would definitely have been interesting to look at early intervention options and to compare parents’ EI goals for their children across their perceptions of counseling pertaining to early intervention- I suppose that’s more potential future research!

      I did ask about the type of technology that children use in each ear, except I used that primarily for demographics, and didn’t make a comparison across type of technology and counseling perceptions.

      Thank you for your thoughts, and for taking the time to look at my project!

  10. This research is so cool and so very important to help audiologists better help their clients. Congratulations!!!!

  11. Congratulations, Morgan! All of us wish you well in your next steps after Wooster.

    1. Thank you so much, Dr. Pasteur! I’m so glad I got to take one of your classes!

  12. It is clear that a lot of care went into your research. It is so important to focus on people’s comfort levels when their kids are being counseled in such a way so I am so glad you did a study on it!

  13. Great work, Morgan!
    It was great to work with you in the NT course, and I wish you the best as you are beginning the next chapter of your life journey!

    1. Thank you so much Professor Park! I’m very glad that I got to take your class!

  14. Nice job, Morgan! You are such a compassionate and sensitive person. It’s wonderful to see you looking into the parents’ experiences. As a parent myself, I believe this can be such a crucial angle, because most of the time, our kids’ sucess at overcoming and living in spite of a disability is directly related to the parents’ understanding of how to help them & provide the best options for them.

    Wishing you all the best in grad school! You are going to be such a positive force wherever you go in life!

    1. Thank you so so much!! Everyone that gets to work with you is so lucky- you made my four years of lessons really great, and I’m incredibly appreciative. Thanks checking out my project(:

  15. Wow, this is such a cool project! There’s clearly so much thought and care that went into this. I am so excited for all that is to come– this is just the beginning for you 😀

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