Drawings and Self-portraits: A Qualitative Study on how Children with Hearing Loss describe themselves and the Communication with others

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative case study of how five children aged 6:04–9:10 years with bilateral sensorineural mild to moderate hearing loss describe their thoughts about themselves and their communication with others. The children have age-appropriate language skills. When studying children with hearing loss, there is often a focus on the linguistic, social, and emotional consequences, but we need an understanding of the children’s thoughts about having hearing loss and the importance of hearing. The study consists of interviews and drawings, where the children draw a self-portrait and draw themselves when they are communicating with another person. Drawings and interviews are presented in case studies and analysed together with a meaning-making perspective and a psychoanalytic perspective. In the study, many of the children find it difficult to hear in noisy environments (e.g. school) but at the same time have friends with whom they play. When it is difficult to hear, they tell a teacher, take off their hearing aids, or disappear into their own inner universe. There seems to be a change in the children’s unconscious thoughts and feelings linked to the ears and hearing when they draw themselves communicating with another person. Several of the children do not draw their ears on the second drawing (talking to another person) even though some of them draw them in the self-portraits. The children’s thoughts and feelings about hearing and their hearing loss is presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Psychology
ISSN1901-2276
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6. Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Children hearing loss
  • communication
  • drawings
  • self-portrait

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