Title: 'Goodness of Fit and the Families of Deaf/HH Infants '
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): social-emotional; temperament; relationships, families
Learning Objectives:
  1. Recognize the role and imprtance of tmeperament in the development of the whole child
  2. Support families in understanding the similarities and differences between themselves and their Deaf/HH child
  3. Provide approaches and strategies that compliment the individual child's temperament both in the physical environment and relationships


The compatibility of a person’s temperament with their surrounding environment is referred to as “goodness of fit.” Some temperaments and environments seem to naturally fit together while others do not. One of the key components to helping children feel good about themselves and be successful throughout life is by creating environments that accommodate their temperaments. This session will focus on applying this concept to families with Deaf Infants and help both EI and families to better understand the child's needs. There are two types of “Goodness of Fit:” how a trait interacts with the environment and how it interacts with the people in that environment. The behavioral fit describes how well the behavior fits with the environment. When there is a match between the demands and expectations of the environment and the child’s temperament and abilities, that is a good fit. This makes success and high self-esteem more likely. When there is not a good fit, there is a greater risk for difficulties for the child. The emotional fit describes how well the child’s temperament fits with the people in his environment and how likable the they consider the child to be. Understanding the concept of 'goodness of fit' can indicate whether some changes may be needed so that there is a better match between the child and his environment. Adults can: Approach a situation with more empathy Have more realistic expectations Recognize activities that “fit” and build success Avoid frustrations Build a more trusting, respectful relationships Raise child's self-esteem
Presentation: 1337MichelleTompkins.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Michele Tompkins - Primary Presenter
California School for the Deaf
     Credentials: MA Deaf Education Parent-Infant Mental Health Certification
     Other Affiliations: : Mission Valley SELPA Early Start Program Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Teacher Specialist California School for the Deaf, Serving Early Education Systems Consultant(SEEDS), California Department of Education, Infant Development Association Board (IDA)
      Michele Tompkins received her MA in Deaf Education in NY. After having worked in a variety of settings and with varied age groups of D/HH children, Michele finally found her niche in California's Early Start Parent Infant Program for D/HH. Michele has been involved with the Parent-Infant Program for more than 25 years. Michele currently works in a collaborative Early Start Program between the California School for the Deaf and the local school districts. She is also the Early Childhood Education Teacher Specialist. She serves as a visitation site consultant for the California Department of Education SEEDS Project and has received her certification in Infant-Parent and Early Childhood Mental Health through the Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program in Napa, CA.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.