Since 1997 I have been working at schools for children/adolescents with hearing loss (deafness or hard of hearing) or with developmental language disorders (DHH/DLD). Once starting as a speech therapist, I nowadays work as an autism specialist and remedial educationalist generalist at a special education secondary school. At the same time, I conduct research in stress and resilience in adolescents with DHH/DLD as an external PhD candidate at the Radboud University.
I will present data from my research on stress and resilience in adolescents with hearing loss (deafness or hard of hearing) or with developmental language disorders (DHH/DLD).
Adolescents with DHH/DLD appear to be vulnerable to multiple stressors in daily life. They are vulnerable to having stressful communication experiences (SCEs) and to stress stemming from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Accumulated stress can cause a toxic stress impact on the brain with detrimental effects on its development and negative effects on one’s well-being. Resilience is a protective factor against one’s stress impact. Although resilience appears a ubiquitous concept, resilience is still a black box when it comes to its development and the (role of) contributing determinants. I’ll discuss the relationship between stressors (SCEs, ACEs) and their stress impact, and will explore resilience and its role in this relationship.