Deaf education and research have had a long but uneasy relationship. Without pointing fingers, it is evident that political and philosophical "preferences" with regard to deaf children's language and learning frequently have trumped research, either ignoring relevant findings or arguing that such studies are unnecessary (or even inappropriate).
For more than 100 years investigators have taken a keen interest in language and cognition in deaf individuals. In many ways, they have played a central role in arriving at our current understanding of how deaf children learn and, indirectly, in prescribing educational methods deemed appropriate for them. Many deaf learners continue to lag behind hearing peers in literacy and other academic skills relative to their hearing peers. This presentation will describe some of the differences between deaf and hearing learners (e.g., in executive function, memory, problem solving), differences that can either help or hinder learning in formal and informal settings but need to be recognized by everyone involved.
This presentation will also focus on normal childhood and early adult psycho-social development and the impact that deafness has on this process. How to successfully navigate the various stages of development, even when steps have been missed/omitted will also be discussed. Common emotional and mental health issues with this population will be presented as well as what interferes with “normal” academic achievement.