March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


3/15/2016  |   2:15 PM - 2:45 PM   |  Topical Session 6   |  Towne/Esquire   |  7 - Family Perspectives and Support

Our children grieve too

When parents first learn of a child's hearing loss, professionals are there to help us understand the importance of communication and language acquisition, and if we’re fortunate, to help us cope with the grief that follows identification. Years later and on our own, we may miss signs that our child, her siblings and extended family are also mourning the loss. Parents may not be prepared for questions such as “When will I get my hearing back?” and “Why am I different?” Later, parents might not understand when a child rejects his hearing aids. Parents who have mourned the loss successfully are better prepared for their child to grieve, but they need to know what to expect and why. Through anecdotal experience gained as a parent and a parent educator, we will learn how it is possible to understand these actions in the context of a child’s own natural mourning process, and to break through to the other side of grief.

  • Recognize the stages of grief
  • Describe to parents and other family members how a child's grief is no different than their own, and acceptance of the hearing loss and self identity are eventual goals for children

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Johanna Lynch (Primary Presenter), BEGINNINGS, jlynch@ncbegin.org;
Johanna Lynch is a parent and a parent educator with BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. She is a governor-appointed member of the North Carolina Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and a parent representative on North Carolina’s Agenda Transition Team. She has experience working with families who have children with hearing loss and collaborating with the professionals who serve them. She served as the parent representative for New Hampshire’s Early Hearing Detection & Intervention program and the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Deaf & Hard of Hearing Education Initiative. She has worked to promote early identification, to improve educational outcomes for children with hearing loss, and to ensure parents understand their options.


Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.