Communicative Disorders


Milner, Bethany

Advisor Department

Communicative Disorders




children; hearing loss; literacy; hearing aids; bonding; grief

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Since hearing screenings for children happen after birth, there is no way for

parents to prepare themselves for having a child with hearing loss and any

lifestyle changes that will follow. Many parents have trouble coping with and

accepting the news of having a deaf or hard-of-hearing child. This diagnosis also

often brings along with it the stress of additional necessary appointments and

decisions. The parent’s idea of a “perfect and ideal” child is gone. Parents need

to grieve the loss of this idea while also tending to their child and giving their

child the opportunities and support needed for success. The stress and emotional

overload of the diagnosis of hearing loss on newborn hearing screenings can take

away from the parent bonding with their child.

Over the course of my honors project, I self-published a children’s book to be

used by parents as a tool for bonding with their child. Reading to a child has

been proven as an excellent way for parents to spend time with their child and

to also promote literacy. A strong parent-child relationship is important for the

development of the child. The aim of the book is to help promote age-appropriate

social and communication behaviors, along with describing typical activities of a

child with hearing loss: appointments, use of different forms of communication,

and exploration of typical emotions of children with hearing loss and their

families. The book also promotes a positive sense of self-esteem and identity

and uniqueness in the child. It is essential that parents must accept their child’s

hearing loss in order to take the next step in helping their child succeed. My

hope is that this book will serve the purpose of assisting parents in the journey

of raising a child with hearing loss and creating a loving and meaningful


HP POSTER.pptx (1178 kB)
Poster contains the rationale for the text of the book. "Ava's Last Day of Summer" is currently available to the public on