Child, Youth and Families
WHO DO WE SERVE?
Deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind children from birth to age 18. At age 19, individuals can continue to use WBP through adult service programs.
When appropriate, we also provide services to hearing children and youth who have parents or siblings that are deaf or hard of hearing. It also applies to hearing families who have a deaf child or youth.
Our services are both bilingual and bicultural to meet the needs of the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind children and youth.
Services provided for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind children and youth focus on:
- coping skills
- emotional regulation skills
- positive and healthy relationships
- problem solving skills
- opportunity to explore experiences and identity as a D/HH person
These services may take place in the context of:
- Individual counselling/therapy
- Family counselling/therapy
- Psychiatric assessments
- Group therapy programs
- Community and school consultation
- Mental health interpreting
- Psycho-educational workshops and community education
Clients often contact WBP for support related to feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger, or the experience of trauma.
WBP can also support for navigating life changes, exploring identity issues, and enhancing wellness.
DOES YOUR CHILD EXPERIENCE?
- extreme emotions or is easily irritable or angry
- seems to worry easily and/or often
- struggles with empathy or relating to others’ experiences
- has a hard time focusing or seems to be running by a motor
- feels different from peers and has few social relationships
- struggles with hearing loss
- has behaviours that are not age appropriate, ie. tantrums, sleep patterns, routines
- makes comments or appears unhappy, sad or negative about themselves
Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-Blind children and youth have a range of experiences, some that may be challenging and hard to manage. Children may experience feeling different from their peers and family, feeling isolated or not accepted, unsure of their identity, or low self-esteem and confidence. These feelings, thoughts or experiences may be the root of challenging behaviour or dysfunction seen at home and/or school.
Parents, both deaf and hearing, can connect with child and youth mental health staff to focus on family dynamics, behaviour needs, or other areas of concern. Parents can expect to be involved in the treatment process, learning skills and approaches to target the identified areas of need.
For parents with young deaf or hard of hearing children, it can be a big adjustment to family dynamics, relationships and overall family functioning. It is important to know that mental health challenges are not a result of parenting, or the fact that your child has a hearing loss. No one is at fault, and there is no reason to be embarrassed asking for support services. The WBP provides counselling to parents who would like support in navigating this new experience.
WHAT TO EXPECT…
Once the WBP has received a referral, an intake appointment with a child and youth mental health staff will be arranged. During this appointment, information will be gathered about your child and family and the areas of need. Depending on the age of the child, they may or may not be included in the intake appointment.
In some cases, the WBP may not be the right fit for your child or family’s needs, at which point we will make recommendations or a referral to another community agency.
HOW TO REFER
Children and youth can be referred to the WBP in several ways:
- Parent/family referral
- Community agency (with consent from parents and child/youth)
- School or Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (with consent from parents and child/youth)