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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The developmental systems approach (DSA) is a conceptual and structural framework to identify the challenges for infants and toddlers who are at risk regarding their development. It describes the fundamental dimensions to be considered when working together with families in early intervention. How children can learn at their best and how cognition and learning can be supported by caregivers are key factors in the DSA. The data presented in this chapter indicate that the DSA also provides a useful tool for deaf education. It illustrates how specific characteristics and behaviors of deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) infants and toddlers may have an impact on the family resources and on the family patterns of interaction (particularly on parent–child transactions) and how this, in turn, can influence child development. An important issue regarding DHH children’s learning processes is to be aware how parents can learn to teach their infants and toddlers informally to understand themselves and the world around them. The data presented reveal that DHH infants and toddlers and their families face challenges at all levels outlined in the DSA. The DSA also provides suggestions on how early intervention works successfully in practice for the families.

Keywords: developmental systems approach, discourse framework, early intervention, educational needs, parent–child interaction

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