This is a a guest post by Akanksha Dhuri, an audiologist and teacher of DHH students at Dhvani Early Intervention Center – Save the Children India in Mumbai, India. Akanksha attended our webinar on Parent-Professional Partnerships, presented by Dr. Jenna Voss and Geeta Shandilya in September 2019.

The following are her take-aways from this webinar, and are excellent reminders for all of us focusing on parent coaching in our (tele) intervention sessions.

1. Being in denial phase, grief is a natural psychological phenomenon that a parent goes through and there is nothing wrong. We should all allow and help them go through that healing process. It’s very fragile state of mind for any parent. 
2. It’s not about who holds the power, its about how both parent’s and professional’s powerful relationships holds everything in place.
3. Always remember it’s not easy to understand what a parent or a person with hearing loss goes through, we need to be sensitive and be always respectful towards them. 
4. We as a professional should not underestimate the power of parents,( Today we are listening to a parent who has become a professional to help other parents. What more can explain about the power of parent then) how much ever difficult situations and conditions or concept may be, break it down in simpler ways, use resources, take other professionals help if require, make them understand. They may need repetitions, reminders, allow them. They should be part of everything, planning, execution, follow ups, moving ahead. 
5. Patience is a key to success.
6. It’s not only about the child and his/her parents, but siblings,  grand parents, care givers and whoever matters in that child’s development should be part of the process.
7. Show them success, achievements during sessions, which they may not be able to see or expect from their child. This will motivate them to work towards the success and shift the entire focus on whatever positive things are happening.
8. Valuable tips were shared for parents as well for professionals, the important one for both is seeing and enjoying the child as a child first, hearing loss is secondary.

Akanksha is an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist graduated  from renowned Topiwala National Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai. Post her graduation , she pursued Special Education for Hearing Impaired (Approved by Rehabilitation Council of India& Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India) She also has an experience as a Lecturer for teaching ‘Audiology & Aural Rehabilitation’ & ‘ Speech and Training of Speech to the Hearing Impaired’ .

She is associated with Save The Children India for over a decade now and with Dhvani Early Intervention Centre since its inception. Currently she is heading the program and is directly responsible for complete and comprehensive audiological management of young babies and children with hearing impairment since the time they are enrolled in the program till they are mainstreamed  in regular school. She has over 15 years of experience in pediatric audiology and her expertise are diagnosing the  hearing loss accurately by using all latest audiological equipments, hearing aid trial, programming and fitting,  Pre & Post cochlear implant management including MAPping, regular assessments to monitor and track the audiological progress of babies and young children with hearing impairment coming to the centre. She also works closely with families of these children and is also responsible for effective parent guidance and parent empowerment program at Dhvani. 

Parent – Professional Partnership – My Take-Aways

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