Vi bytte våra hörande skolkamrater mot döva! : Förändring av hörselskadade barns identitet och självförtroende vid byte av språklig skolmiljö
Sammanfattning: This study is a comparative study with the aim of finding out whether the identity and self-confidence of hearing-impaired children changes when they attend schools with a different language base. The focus of the study was the interaction of hearing-impaired children with other children of the same age. The number of hearing-impaired children in this study was 29. The children were aged between 7 and 14 when the study began.In autumn 1994 special classes for hearing-impaired children in Örebro moved from a mainstream school to a special school for Deaf children. In the classroom, the hearing- impaired children in both the mainstream and the special schools were educated in spoken Swedish with signs as support. However, the dominant language outside the classroom changed from spoken Swedish to Swedish sign language.Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with the hearing-impaired children in 1994, before the move, and in 1996, after the move. At the same time the children's self-confidence was examined. In both the mainstream and the special school the children's play in the playground was video recorded.This study shows that several of the hearing-impaired children were socially isolated. Some even felt little solidarity with their classmates and were solitary. Most of the children were longing to meet more children in their spare time. The playground seemed to be the social arena where children with impaired hearing mainly met other children. The hearing-impaired children as a group were socially excluded and marginalized in the mainstream school. Most of the hearing-impaired children did not describe the same feeling of being outsiders in the special school as in the mainstream school. Most of the hearing-impaired children's confidence improved after the change of school. However, the hearing-impaired children's social situation was not perfect in the special school either.The playground is a central arena for hearing-impaired children in trying out their identity. In forming their identity children seem to look for other similarities. The hearing-impaired children experienced affiliation, equality and fellowship with other hearing-impaired children. They also expressed the opinion that Deaf children were "almost similar" to hearing-impaired children. The school situation that strengthens the identity of hearing-impaired children seems to be the school where they feel most at home with their schoolmates. That happened in the special school. However, some of the hearing-impaired children with multi-disabilities had difficulties in both the mainstream school and the special school and failed to find a secure identity as a hearing-impaired child. Unless school arrangements address their social needs, hearing-impaired youngsters could experience an identity crisis.
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