The aim of the research was to describe the status of early intervention services provided to families of children with hearing loss in two main state hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from the parent’s perspective. As parental satisfaction is frequently included as a component of evaluating services for children with disabilities and their families, it is important to determine their perceptions of the status of EI services and to identify to what extent they benefit from the services provided.
Early intervention becomes possible with hearing screening. Without systematic hearing screening programmes to identify infants with hearing loss early, losses will only be detected after critical language development periods have passed, resulting in severely restricted prospects for literacy, academic, and vocational outcomes.
A descriptive quantitative research design was implemented in order to gather data. A semi-structured interview based on a questionnaire was conducted with 60 research participants from two main state hospitals that provide early detection and intervention services, according to the purposive sampling technique. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed on the data collected.
The results of this study indicated that participants’ children were identified, fitted with hearing aids and enrolled into EI programmes at a significant later age than recommended by Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. Although the amount and location of intervention services were problematic for some families, the majority were satisfied with the professionals who worked with them and with the ongoing services that were provided. The statistical analysis also showed that a significant relationship was found between the participants’ geographical location and timely access to EI services and fitting with amplification; children who lived out Riyadh were later fitted with amplification than those living in the city. Lastly, the delivery of information emerged as a weakness in the EI system for the majority of participants.
The implications of this study are discussed and recommendations regarding future research endeavours are presented.
Dissertation (MComm Path)--University of Pretoria, 2015.