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Toolkit for Providers Serving Children with Hearing Loss

Tip #5: Use Decision Tools, such as the Ottawa Decision Guide, with Families


What We Learned:
• Families of CYSHCNs, including children with hearing loss, frequently face difficult decisions regarding their child’s management.
• Families desire input from their providers about these decisions, but most families want to make final decisions themselves, based on their child’s individual circumstances and their unique family situation.
• Many families are interested in accessing tools that can help them with this process of family-centered decision-making.

What We Did:
• One such tool is the Ottawa Decision Guide.
• We tested the use of this guide with families of children with hearing loss, and families applied the guide to decisions they were facing -- for example, which communication modality their child should adopt, or whether or not to consider cochlear implantation.
This version of the Ottawa Decision Guide from the CDC outlines the possible uses of the guide for parents of children with hearing loss.

Questions for My Practice:
• Do we have a process for family-centered decision making?
• Do we make any tools available to families that are struggling with difficult decisions?

Changes to Try in My Practice:
• Make the Ottawa Decision or similar Guide available (either by web link or handout) to families of CYSHCNs that are facing difficult decisions, including those related to management of hearing loss. You can print out your own versions of the Communication Decision Guide or the general Ottawa Decision Guide here.
• Go through the guide with families, explaining its use
• Ask families if they find the Ottawa Decision Guide useful.

 
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