Title: 'Man Laws for Moms: Understanding Fathers and Why We Do the Things We Do'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): Parents, Dads, Moms, involvement
Learning Objectives:
  1. At the end of the session, participants will be able to understand why many fathers disengage when it comes to raising a child with special needs.
  2. At the end of the session, participants will be able to identify if their child's father is disengaging and identify reasons for that disengagement
  3. At the end of the session, participants will be able to begin to help the dads to re-engage by using several techniques and suggestions from the session.


Active parental involvement is a major key to the success of any child. This is especially true of children with special needs, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. But for children with special needs, too often the father of the child is uninvolved or detached from the parenting role. This is a problem that impacts the whole family and especially the ability of the family to support the child with special needs. It is also an issue that is often very perplexing to the mom. Why is dad not involved? Why does he not see the issues with our child like I do? Why does he pull away whenever I try and get him more involved with the child, the child’s needs, or services? This presentation explores these topics with moms, and works to help them understand what is going on in dad’s head. The presentation helps moms understand that for many men, they are products of their cultural upbringings and expectations – elements that have been impressed upon them from the time that they were small and help to form a major part of how dads view the world, their place in it, and how to respond to stressful situations – like raising a child with special needs. The presentation then explores ways that moms can work with that knowledge to encourage dads to be more involved and to take a more active role with the child.
Presentation: Tuesday_Nunn_345_MarkKeith_1568.pdf

Handouts: Handout_1568MarkKeith.pdf
CART: Topical Session 8- 1568.rtf
Mark Keith - Primary Presenter,POC
Outreach Services for the Blind and the Deaf
     Credentials: Training Coordinator - Outreach Services for the Blind and Deaf & for Resource Materials and Technology Center: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
     Other Affiliations: Member - Florida's National Deaf Agenda team. Member - Florida DOE Model Communication Plan Development team.
      Mark Keith is the Training Coordinator for Parents and Families for both Outreach Services for the Blind and the Deaf and for the Resource Materials Technology Center for the Deaf / Hard of Hearing. These are two of Florida’s state discretionary projects. Mark provides training, consultation and support services for parents and school districts across Florida. He has been providing these services for over 11 years now. He is also the father of a young man who is deaf and has cerebral palsy. Mark is also the author of No Dad, It Does Not Involve a Hippopotamus, a collection stories and articles about raising his son.

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.