Evelopment of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adolescents compared to their Hearing Peers

In an attempt to increase and broaden our grasp on the concept of a?normal development,a? students will write and present short papers addressing the topic of how normal adolescent and young adult development might be affected by biological differences, such as chronic medical or learning issues. Each student will explore what one such issue may mean in the development of a normal adolescent. What I want us to explore through this assignment is how the experience of NORMAL adolescent development may be skewed by having a chronic illness or condition that, while not marking the adolescent as pathological, creates a DIFFERENT normal. For example, you could look at teenagers with Type I diabetes, cerebral palsy, Aspergeras syndrome, verbal learning disability, non-verbal learning disability, ADHD, intellectual or athletic giftedness, etc. Work from the foundation of your knowledge of normal adolescent development and address the effect of the chronic illness or condition in skewing that developmental experience. I want to see how well you can speculate based on your knowledge of normal adolescence and the nature of the condition.

If your practice and/or your dissertation relates to adolescents who live within a different or minority cultural environment, you may do your paper about that group. For example, you might choose being an American Muslim, Amish or a Jehovahas Witness in a community where they are the minority. You could choose another ethnic minority if they are definitely growing up in a minority situation. Other socio-cultural situations that could be address might include growing up in foster-care, GLBT youth, etc.

The results of these explorations should be written in brief (5-7page) paper which will be presented to the class as well as turned in to the instructor. In doing this assignment, you should present some information about the nature and/or effects of the biological or life situation and then attempt to apply the concepts we have been studying about adolescence. Your knowledge of the biological or life situation may come from a combination of internet research, a book, an article, and your own experience. It is hoped that this presentation will help us develop both imagination and empathy as we attempt to grasp the concept of a?normal development.a?