Title: 'Choosing Communication Methods without Regret: The Science of Complex Decisions'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): parent education, communication, counseling, choices, decision-making
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify two ways people set standards for complex decisions
  2. Describe two ways people try to distance themselves from responsibility for decisions that affect others
  3. Describe one way to structure the array of communication choices to make them manageable while making all options available.


How can programs and professionals help families make best decisions without introducing bias? Can families have “too many” choices? Why do families delay decisions? Studies in psychology and marketing describe the surprising way real people make complex decisions, especially high stakes choices on behalf of others. The findings suggest how to shape the complicated choosing process so families can more easily settle on satisfying communication options. Topics include: • What leads to “overload” in decision making • How people try to simplify complex choices • Why deciding for others is different from deciding for oneself • Situations in which people try to avoid responsibility • Factors that increase or decrease regret for decisions • Characteristics of a “good” decision • How advisors can structure choices while respecting the family’s autonomy A representative from Hands & Voices, herself a parent of children with hearing loss, will comment on how the science applies, or does not apply, to real-world situations where families suddenly confront the complex issues around communication choices.
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Handouts: Handout is not Available
Steve Richardson - POC,Co-Presenter
     Credentials: MPH
      Steve Richardson, MPH is a health educator with over 30 years’ experience including service in a state health department, an academic medical center and private consulting. He has worked in the areas of maternal and child health, injury prevention, environmental health and risk communication. At CDC’s EHDI program he is involved with special interest teleconferences, as well as print and web-based/electronic information, helping state and federal colleagues apply health literacy and marketing principles to their health communications, especially with family and professional audiences. He is member of CDC's Public Health Ethics Committee.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Terri Patterson - Co-Presenter
GA Hands & Voices
     Credentials: B.A.
      Terri's experience as a former Early Intervention Parent Educator and a parent of a child with hearing loss has led her into the role of Executive Director of Georgia Hands & Voices. She and her husband, Matt, have two children: daughter Molly, and son, Riley, (who was identified with profound bilateral hearing loss at two months). Degreed in Social Sciences/Psychology, Terri is the Committee Chair for the Georgia Stakeholder’s UNHS Program. She also sits on the National EHDI 2011 Planning Committee, and is co-chair of the CDC’s Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Parent-to-Parent Subcommittee, as well as serving as parent representative to the AAHBEI (American Association for Home-Based Early Interventionists) governing board. Terri is co-author of the DECISION GUIDE TO COMMUNICATION CHOICES published by the CDC, and has spoken a numerous conferences including a plenary presentation at the National Summit on Deaf Education in 2008.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.