March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


3/15/2016  |   3:45 PM - 4:15 PM   |  Topical Session 8   |  Tiki Pavilion   |  4 - Early Intervention

Tips and Tools to Involve Extended Family in the Hearing Journey: Healthy Conversations and Communication Opportunities

“Research has shown that children with more opportunities for communicating with parents, siblings, peers, and other adults develop better language skills.” Extended family is most important in the rearing of a child, whether or not a child is deaf or hard of hearing. Familial ties foster healthy bonding and communication. This presentation focuses on the importance of grandparents and extended family developing an understanding of their deaf child’s needs, including an understanding of the use of hearing technology, as well as opportunities to maximize communication through language and the role of Deaf culture. During the presentation, various suggestions and tools will be shared on involving grandparents and extended family. Early Intervention should focus more on the connection of extended families by providing opportunities for all to come into contact with the Deaf community. Since there are so many opinions regarding hearing loss, this presentation will also touch on conflict. How can conflict be resolved while still educating family members? Interviews of parents and extended family will be shared to provide examples of families embracing a Deaf child. Audience interaction is important for this presentation so that parents, educators, and professionals can connect on this topic, developing strategies for an important issue that has previously had minimal discussion. The two outcomes for participants at this session is 1) to go back home with more tools for healthy conversations with family and friends and 2) to return to their states with more resources to incorporate extended family in Early Intervention programs.

  • Present resources and tools for parents and educators to involve grandparents and extended family
  • Encourage healthy bonding and communication
  • Discuss dealing with conflict in family regarding the topic of hearing loss and deafness

This presentation has not yet been uploaded or the speaker has opted not to make the presentation available online.

Handout is not Available

CART transcripts are NOT YET available, but will be posted shortly after the conference


Lillian Eshelman (Primary Presenter), Parent, lilleshel@gmail.com;
Lillian Eshelman is a parent of a two-year-old Deaf daughter and a hearing baby son. She has a BA in Linguistics from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. In the past, she has worked with children with various learning challenges. She currently enjoys Early Intervention services at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia. Lillian has attended EHDI 2015 and wants to continue participation in EHDI to improve services. Lillian grew up in New Zealand but moved to America after marrying her American born-and-bred husband Jeremy.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.