"Don’t just do something. Stand there! Becoming a trauma-informed parent-to-parent/early intervention support system"
A collaborative post-session with Elizabeth Seeliger, Leigh Hardin, and Jess Dallman
Wednesday, March 21, 9:00am-4:00pm, EHDI Denver; Pre-registration required
Early interventionists and parent-to-parent support staff often provide support to families shortly after they receive the news that their child is deaf or hard of hearing. Providers often wonder, “What can I or should I be doing with a baby that is otherwise a typically developing 6 week old?” or “What can I say to a family to make them feel better?” Sometimes, we provide information and resources. Sometimes we provide communication or technology tips or training. Sometimes we “assess and monitor” the child for delay. Often we overlook what the family needs most in those first weeks and months: connection. The first step to providing intervention of any kind is to intentionally initiate, nurture, and model relationship. Sometimes this relationship happens easily and naturally. Other times it does not.
In this session, we will identify a variety of relational practices and explore the practice of holding space for feelings, healing, acceptance and growth. We will inform participants about the link between the importance of these relational practices when a family is struggling to apply interventions, make decisions, or follow-through with recommendations.
The instructional setting, along with the diverse interdisciplinary instructional team (Audiologist, Interventionist/Counselor, and a Parent/Counselor) will enable participants to bridge EHDI services with infant and family mental health, through interactive case studies and hands-on experiential activities.
The timely introduction to emerging evidence-based relational practices will encourage a more sustainable EHDI system by promoting system-wide self-care practices which have been shown to reduce burnout. By acknowledging and enhancing the role of relationships with families, interventionists can provide more attuned support so that parents/caregivers, in turn, can provide attuned support to their infant. We will share ideas of ways that we can enhance our support of the parent-child relationship and thereby, mitigate the potential long-term effects of unresolved 'diagnostic trauma’. With this information, experience, and collaboration, we hope this workshop will also help providers start to dream big about the potential for "improving and protecting community health and well-being" (HRSA-17-059 grant synopsis).