The communication experiences of adult deaf people within their family during childhood in Cyprus
This study investigates the personal communication memories and experiences of adult deaf people during their childhoods in their homes. In order to obtain relevant information in depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty four Cypriot deaf individuals between the ages of 19 to 54 years with different family and school backgrounds. Those who graduated from the school for the deaf, and used sign language from an early age had negative communication experiences at home. It was found that they could not achieve communication either in CSL or orally with their hearing parents (n = 12). On the other hand, those participants who graduated from general schools did not record any negative memories, since they could communicate from an early age with their hearing parents through speech (n = 10). Similarly, the two participants, who attended the school for the deaf, and signed with their family Deaf 1 members from an early age, described pleasant communication memories. This study suggests the importance of an early and mutual mode of communication between family members and the deaf children, regardless the communication modality to ensure pleasant family communication interchanges and experiences. This could be taken into consideration by people involved in deaf education, including service providers, educators, parents, and counselors. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.