Fathers in AV Therapy
K. Todd Houston, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
Today’s fathers are significantly more involved in child raising than previous generations. Further, research shows that a high level of involvement by fathers has many positive benefits for children and strengthens early childhood development by helping children achieve the following skills:
- Develop problem-solving abilities
- Increase confidence in their thinking skills and ability
- Feel secure in exploring the world around them
- Have a better chance of entering college or finding a stable job
When they receive the news that their child is deaf or hard of hearing, fathers often experience intense emotions related to their child’s diagnosis, such as feelings of guilt, disappointment, loss of control, and isolation. They actively look for involvement in the process of their children’s education and therapy. According to one study, fathers want to:
- be more involved with their child, family and support services rather than being pushed to the side in an observer-only role;
- have their unique role as parents to be recognized, appreciated, and capitalized upon;
- receive information firsthand from professionals; and
- have more flexibility from both their employers and their child’s service providers to allow them to participate in their child’s intervention and care.
Welcoming Fathers to Your Practice
Do you include fathers in your auditory-verbal therapy and education sessions? Just as auditory-verbal practice takes a whole-child approach, listening and spoken language professionals should involve all family members to ensure that each one is included in all aspects of the child’s diagnostic, education, therapy, or counseling care. In recent studies, some fathers expressed concerns about their inclusion and treatment in auditory-verbal practice and reported feeling alone.
Similarly, families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing should openly express their intent to participate holistically in their child’s journey. Fathers play a pivotal role in the emotional, intellectual, social, and communicative development of their children and are highly significant to their child’s success of living a listening and spoken language life.
More Tips for Including Fathers
For more information on including fathers, see FAQ #27 in AG Bell’s newest publication, 101 FAQs About Auditory-Verbal Practice. Whether you are a parent or an auditory-verbal professional, this is the resource you need. The book is a comprehensive collection in which renowned experts from the field of auditory-verbal practice take both parents and professionals on a journey through current theory, practice, and outcomes.
101 FAQs is a must-have tool for the families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and the professionals that work with them to develop their full potential!
To learn more about this and the answers to a 100 other frequently asked questions about auditory-verbal practice, visit ListeningandSpokenLanguage.org/101FAQs and order your print or e-book copy today! And don’t forget to let us know your feedback on the book!