Title: 'Working with Parents: Family-Centered Care Delivered with Compassion'
Track: 4-Medical Home
Keyword(s): family-centered, parent-child attachment, psychology, delivery
Learning Objectives: Evaluate the potential impact of a child’s hearing loss on the parent-child relationship Analyze the impact of the diagnosis of hearing loss on the entire family system Identify a minimum of two negative outcomes often identified when a clinician poorly delivers a diagnosis of hearing loss Identify a minimum of two strategies that can be suggested by front line professionals (in their interactions with families) that, if implemented, are likely to facilitate better parent-child relations


Traditionally, the roles of parents of children with hearing loss and those of health care providers and allied professionals were fairly well- established and rigid. Those roles created a negative dynamic of ‘healing professionals’ and ‘powerless parents ’ which led, in some cases, to a vicious cycle of parents feeling helplessness or incompetent. Internalize of that feeling of powerlessness by the children can lead to reduced self-esteem and hurt the parent-child relationship. So, how can we do it better? The benefits of implementing a Family-Centered approach to care are numerous. Accepting the family ‘where they are at’ can be instrumental in helping them to deal with challenges and manage the uncertainty frequently associated with the diagnosis of hearing loss. Utilizing a family-centered approach, delivered in a supportive, consistent, and culturally competent manner, can have several positive impacts, including: improved skill development in the parents, decreased parental stress, and improved satisfaction of services. Drawing on research in the fields of health care policy, public health, and psychology, this presentation will define specific family-centered approaches and describe how they can be used to help parents recognize their emotional reactions to a diagnosis, promote healthy attachments between parents and their children, and foster positive changes within the family system. This presentation is targeted for professionals working on the front line who interact directly with families, whether in their homes or in a community-based setting. Delivered by a psychologist, this presentation will highlight important considerations in working with the family not only on issues ”related to the ear,” but also those related to the overall development of the child, including social-emotional functioning, and the family system as a whole.
Presentation: This presentation has not yet been uploaded or the speaker has opted not to make the presentation available online.
Handouts: Handout is not Available
Amy Szarkowski - Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School
     Credentials: PhD in Clinical Psychology
     Other Affiliations: Instructor in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Psychologist, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, Boston Children's Hospital; Adjunct Instructor at Gallaudet University & Tufts University
      Dr. Szarkowski is a Psychologist in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children's Hospital. Her work there involves conducting developmental and psychological assessments, providing support to Deaf and hard of hearing children and their families through short-term therapy, and advocating for appropriate supports and accommodations to meet childrens' needs. Dr. Szarkowski also holds an appointment as Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry. She teaches in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families Collaboration and Leadership program at Gallaudet University, as well as in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University.