Mother-child interaction: the case of deaf children in Addis Ababa.

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Addis Ababa Universty


The study investigates the effect of deafness on communicative interaction: the methods of communication used and the challenges the dyads experience. In addition, the study focused on investigating the relationship between parenting style, communication and psycho-emotional feelings of hearing mothers of deaf children in Addis Ababa. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The data were collected through observation of the dyad's communicative interaction, semi- structured interview and questionnaire. Accordingly, a sample group consisted of 6 hearing-mother deafchild dyads and 40 hearing mothers of deaf children other than the dyads attending at CoAction pre-school, Mechanisa and VICKtory schools for the deaf were selected using incidental sampling method The children were between the ages of 5-9. Video recording was carried out at the dyad's home for three days, for 15 minutes each day.In-depth interview was also conducted with hearing mothers. The data were analyzed qualitatively case by case. The result shows that deaf children lack the provision of early identification, linguistic stimulation and optimal communicative environment at home. They had also impoverished their natural language, signing, and verbal input as well. There is a mismatch of communication modality between the dyads. Consequently, they are deprived of adequate information from the surrounding environment and exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings, etc. On the other hand, because of the inability to use signs for interactive communication, hearing mothers experience different psycho-emotional feelings. All these appeared to be related with lack of adequate informationlknowledge on the part of the mothers and family members about deafness, its causes, characteristics and lack of early and appropriate support service in any form for the dyads. The analysis of the questionnaire using Kruskal-Wallis Test showed no significant difference between loving and demanding dimensions on communication and psycho-emotional feelings of hearing mothers of deaf children.