Date of Award

Winter 11-30-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Joya Carter-Hicks

First Committee Member

Dr. Raynice E. Jean- Sigur

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jasmine Ward


This qualitative research study examined parents’ perceptions on the diagnosis process that identified their children as deaf or hard of hearing and the early-intervention services provided after the diagnosis. It explored how culture influenced the parental perception of information given to them and the ways in which their backgrounds swayed their individual reactions. As a convenience sample, the researcher conducted interviews with six families in the participants’ homes for ease and comfort. After each interview, an observation was conducted to collect data on the family’s interactions during leisure time, focusing on how the parents and their child communicated with one another. The study revealed that half of the mothers were alone when the diagnosis was delivered. The parents reported that professionals conveyed the diagnostic medical information to them in a negative manner, as if their child had purposefully failed the hearing test. The children had different amplification and communication modes, and some were candidates for cochlear implants. The parents also perceived the diagnosis process as long and cumbersome and experienced a variety of emotions throughout the process. The study examined the families’ varying grieving phases from the initial doctor’s visit to their continuous daily struggle in interacting with their child. In spite of their frustration and overwhelming emotions, the study concluded that the parents were ultimately grateful for the interventions and services provided for their children.